Offline Credit Card Theft That You Have To Worry About

Sometimes the online world gets a bad rap from people. This is especially true when it comes to news organizations and other types of media. The big thing to report about these days is how dangerous the online world is and how people should be afraid of it. They want people to be wary when they go online and that is good but the way that they report the problem they make people feel as if they should never go online ever again. And that is a real problem that must be addressed. Yes, there are a lot of dangers that happen online but just as much or even more danger offline. So while you do have to be aware when you are online it is not much more than you have to be aware while you are walking down the street.

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Let’s take for example a crime that happens both online and offline quite frequently. And while it does happen a lot in both situation, you really only hear about the online version of the crime when you watch the news. And the crime that we are talking about is credit card theft. Yes, credit card theft does happen a lot online but it does happen a lot offline as well. And that is what people do not get. As a matter of fact, credit card theft happens more offline than it does online and we will take you step by step on how it goes down.

Just think about how many times you use your credit card throughout the day. And for the purposes of this article, we are saying that credit cards and debit cards are the same thing. While they both have their slight differences in how they are used when stolen it is not enough to bring it up in this article. But if you think about how many times you use either one of these items then you will know that it probably adds up to a lot. And believe it or not, each one of the times you use these cards you are putting it at risk.

For example, one of the most popular offline credit card schemes these days is to get the number of the credit card right at the source. And we say right at the source what we mean is that they get the credit card number straight from the ATM machine that you use. And they do that by placing a little scanner on the machine that is not noticeable to you. And when you slide your card through that scanner, it reads your number and stores it. There are some thieves who are so clever that they place an extra camera on the machine as well. That way they are able to get your pin number as well as the credit card/ debit card number. That is all that they need to be able to get your money later on down the line.

But that is not the only way that bad guys are able to get your credit card number. Sometimes they do it the old fashioned way and just pay someone to get it. For example, if you go to a restaurant, they will sometimes pay the waiter to scan your card twice. Once on a special machine and the other scan is on the normal register that takes your money. The normal register charges you for the cost of your meal and the other scanner stores your card number for later use by the bad guys.

So as you can see, while you have to be careful while you are online, it is no more dangerous than offline world. Do not let the media scare you into thinking that you should not do business online anymore.

photo: IvanWalsh.com

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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