Jimmy Atkinson has written to tell us about a series he's involved in at Credit Card Blog “that may interest readers of Identity Weblog. It's the Top Five Credit Card Scams. Each day this week, we're covering a different scam and providing tips to consumers as to how they can protect themselves against identity theft and credit card fraud.”
The site will definitely give you things to think about. I don't know a lot about findcreditcards.org. Maybe Jimmy can help us to understand more.
Anyway, here is a sample – the recent posting on “skimming”:
One of the most insidious forms of credit card fraud occurs with a little device known as a skimmer. Skimmers are the size of a pager and can be carried by a scam artist to swipe your credit card and steal the information needed to create a counterfeit card with your name on it. Hereâ€™s how it works: You pay at a restaurant or other business and the clerk takes your card. In the back, the clerk swipes your card for the purchase and then swipes it secretly into the skimmer, which records the name and numbers.
The numbers in the skimmer can be downloaded into a computer and emailed anywhere across the globe. They are then used to make fake credit cards that are used by thieves in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the US. Skimming is responsible for over $1 billion in losses each year.
Skimmers can also be placed on some older ATMs so that when you swipe your own card, the information is stored in the tiny bug and then retrieved at a later date by the scammer. To protect yourself, keep an eye on your credit card bills. Watch for any unusual activity and report it immediately. Also shred all your statements so that the numbers cannot be stolen.
When out and about, keep a close eye on your credit card as well, and report any suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission.
It all just shows how hard it is to change an infrastructure once it's in, no matter how many flaws it has. It's the problem of exposing your secret (as happens with north american credit cards) rather than using your secret to prove something. InfoCards give us a way to fix this in the online environment. The payment identity provider does not need to release a long-term credit card number – just a one-time approval (potentially modelled as a credit card number for compatibility purposes).