How Credit Card Theft Works & Ways To Outsmart This Fraud

Credit card theft is one of the rising fraud of the digital age, and it continues to raise concerns daily. From identify theft to phishing, the goal of this scam is to rip you of your hard-earned cash. Here’s what you need to know about credit card scams, and how to prevent them from happening to you or people close to you.

What Is Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud or credit card scam is when someone steals or uses someone else’s credit card to buy things or make payments without permission from the card owner. A fraudster might trick the cardholder into agreeing to a payment by lying or exploiting their lack of knowledge. Sometimes, the card can be stolen, lost, or copied, and then used by fraudsters. So, if your card is lost, it’s important to tell the bank to block it to prevent unauthorized use.

The Various Ways Scammers Commit Credit Card Fraud

Through Phishing Tactics

Be cautious of emails asking for your credit card information. Always verify the sender’s email address and provide card details only through secure website. Cybercriminals send deceptive emails, fishing for your credit card info.

Via Spyware and Malware

These nasty software programs can steal your credit card info as you type it online. Scammers use it to get people’s sensitive information. What may seem like an innocent Popup Ad or a link to a website might just be a disguised malware.

Text Message Traps

This is like phishing but via text messages. Don’t click on suspicious texts; verify with the company directly. It’s safer to contact the company directly through their official channels.

Vishing via Impersonating a Known Business

Scammers may call, pretending to be a business. If that happens, tell them you’ll call the company yourself. Block the number if they persist. If in doubt, hang up and call the company yourself.

Intercepting Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions, and if you must, use a VPN for added security. Using it at first may seem convenient, but you’ll pay for that convenience later if hackers steal your credit card number. If using public Wi-Fi, never sign into credit card, bank account, student loan or other financial If you have to use it, get a VPN (virtual private network) to safeguard your data.

Card Skimming

Did you know that your credit card number can be stolen at the gas pump and retail sales terminals with a device called a card skimmer? Thieves may place devices on card readers to capture your card info. Use cards with EMV chips and check for tampered card readers.

Account Takeover

Thieves contact your card issuer to change account details. Set up verbal passwords with your card company to prevent this. To stop this, some credit card companies go so far as to enable the setup of verbally communicated passwords that are undocumented to help prevent account takeover.

Cloned or Counterfeit Cards

Although chip technology has reduced this, fake cards are still a risk. Criminals may create fake cards. EMV chips help prevent this.

Credit Fraud by Someone You Know

Be cautious when sharing account information, even with people you know. Credit card fraud isn’t always this mysterious, faceless thing. Surprisingly, more than half a million people each year actually know the person who stole their identity. So, it’s important to be cautious with your personal info, even around familiar faces.

Ways To Prevent and Outsmart Credit Card Fraud

  1. Always Use Secure Websites. Whenever you’re entering your credit card info online, look for “https://” in the web address. The “s” means it’s a secure site.
  2. Stay Alert from Phishing: Don’t Click on Links in Suspicious emails.
  3. Keep your PIN and passwords super secret. If you must share them, change them after the person is done using them.
  4. Be careful with public Wi-Fi when making online purchases or bank transactions. It’s safer to use a secure network.
  5. After shopping or banking online, make sure to clear your browser’s cache. It helps keep your info safe.
  6. Sign up for fraud alerts with your credit card company or bank. They’ll notify you if something fishy happens with your account.
  7. Before tossing important papers, like bank statements, shred them or burn them to protect your info.
  8. If you notice your card missing, tell your bank or creditor ASAP. They can help secure your account.


Credit card fraud Is one out of the numerous frauds occurring everyday out there. From identity theft to sneaky email scams and card skimming at gas stations, there are plenty of ways scammers can mess with your finances.

The big takeaway is to be super vigilant. Check your credit card statements regularly, be careful who you share your personal info with, and keep an eye out for those suspicious signs. And if you spot something fishy, don’t wait – contact your card issuer right away.