Top 3 Ways Criminals Use Stolen Credit Card Information

It is obvious credit card information is one of the hottest commodities on the internet right now. Criminals who obtain such details can do all sorts of harm in ways very few people would even think possible. Obtaining the information can be done by the criminals themselves, or just bought on Darknet marketplaces. Once credit card information is exposed, it is only a matter of time until things go awry.

3. Online Shopping

One of the more common methods of abusing stolen credit card information revolves around shopping. A lot of criminals buy goods and services offline and have them delivered to a so-called “drop address” where someone will sign for deliveries. This “drop” is then supposed to either reship the items to the person buying the items with the stolen information or sell them and send the money to the criminals.

Another option revolves around in-store purchases, although this option is becoming more difficult to pull off. More and more retailers have stopped swiping credit cards and now actively ask customers to enter a PIN code. Without that code, offline shopping is virtually impossible at major retailers. Then again, no one knows for sure what kind of balance the card has left, which makes online shopping a far more plausible solution. After all, online payments often get declined, thus they arouse no immediate suspicion.

2. Card Cloning

Claiming credit cards are a very intensive project that requires a lot of card information. To be more specific, one needs the cvv2 code and the PIN code of every card before it can be cloned in an effective manner. Such a cloned card can be used for purchases as well, although most criminals will actively use it to withdraw money from any bank ATM they can access.

In most cases, criminals will hardly ever cash out cloned cards themselves. Instead, they will recruit people who pick up batches of credit cards to withdraw money from the ATM. That money is then returned to the original card provider, minus a fee for “running errands”. These schemes are very popular all over the world, as so-called money mules can be found in every city or province. This business model also has one of the highest chances of leading to people getting arrested in the act of cashing out cloned cards, though.

1. Applying For New Credit Cards

Perhaps the biggest danger of having one’s credit card details stolen is how criminals will use to request additional cards in that person’s name. All it takes is one’s credit card information and a social security number or mother’s maiden name to request an extra payment card. Since the theft victim will never receive the physical card or its statements, criminals have a line of credit that can result in major financial losses for the person who had their information stolen.

Moreover, consumers in the US can have multiple credit cards in their name without any problem. This poses a very real risk of there being multiple credit cards in one’s name without being aware of the situation. In most cases, these victims will never realize something is amiss until they get angry letters from credit card companies who demand their money. Do not underestimate this powerful threat by any means.

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