Credit Card Fraud Methods Becoming More Sophisticated

By: Angela Rideaux

I was surfing through the Internet, comparing latest credit card offers in search of a new and better rate credit card. A great number of today's websites on credit cards credit-related news and articles to help potential applicants get more educated and to inform them of the new arrivals on the credit market with all the rates, fees and rewards.

My search of a credit card assured me of the fact that the proverb "No news is good news" is wrong at its core. Because if I hadn't read about credit card thieves' new methods, I would be weak and completely unprepared for their new sophisticated trick and would perhaps lose hundreds on unauthorized use of my new plastic later on.

It is not perhaps a secret to a knowledgeable credit card user that every year thousands of stolen credit cards, to be more exact, their credit card numbers are sold online at ridiculously low prices. However, the black marketers cannot know if all the credit car accounts they offer for sale are active, and active accounts are naturally of much higher value for clients.

Now, if you cannot possibly prevent your credit card number from being stolen and then sold online by wise fraudsters, you can early detect unauthorized charges, which the fraudsters meant to make unnoticed. The point is that these charges are very small and are made to see whether the account is active or not. Then the account is sold at either a higher or lower price.

If you manage to detect these early charges, you can block your credit card account well before you lose a fortune due to unauthorized use of your card. Until recently, however, it has been almost impossible to track this little charge because it is paid to various charities, like Red Cross, for example.

When such a charge happens, it's only you who can flag the inappropriate disposal of your credit card. Why? Aren't you, as a full right credit card holder, protected by your credit card company in case of fraud? Well, you are. There's only one problem - the bank behavior monitoring systems are less sensitive to suchlike transactions.

Thus, if someone pays with your credit card to donate to charity, the services monitoring credit card use, determine it as legal and let it be completed. Meanwhile credit card thieves, paying small amounts to charities, determine the value of your credit card account basing on acceptance or denial of the transaction.

What can you do? Don't ignore the monthly credit card statements as they contain all your credit card spending track. If you're sure you didn't donate a penny, but the statement shows such a charge, be sure your credit card has been stolen and is perhaps being already offered on the internet credit card black market.

Criminals seem to have fooled everyone this time. Banks and credit companies have already mastered in their searching for suspicious purchases, examining every penny charge at gas stations and some other places. But charities have never been objects of suspect and charges for donations have always been in the norm.

So, until companies have trained to spot fraudulent donations, the mission of protecting your credit card is on your shoulders. My credit card is not for sale and I'll take care of it.

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