If you’ve ever received unfamiliar alerts from your credit card company or seen transactions on your statement that you don’t recognize, your credit card account might have been compromised. More specifically, your account may have been hacked by fraudsters.

2ae46c25fb14ba4ea3d30038f23bf89fFirst, don’t panic. If you’ve ever been a victim of credit card fraud, you’re now part of a large and non-exclusive club of credit card holders. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit card fraud is one of the most common types of fraud.

In 2023, the FTC received over 416,000 reports of fraud involving new credit card accounts (officially termed “new account fraud”) or existing accounts (officially termed “account takeover”), with nearly half of the complaints coming from people under 40. The number of credit card fraud complaints to the FTC exceeded all other types of fraud complaints. The key point is, you’re not alone.

Common Methods of Credit Card Hacking

Fraudsters, while not always brilliant, are highly creative. Hackers use various known methods to access your credit card data, and who knows how many unknown methods law enforcement has yet to uncover. These methods combine traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Family Fraud – Family fraud or “friendly” fraud occurs when a family member or someone close to you, like a roommate or cleaning service, uses your credit card without permission. In my work as an expert witness, I often see the challenge of whether cardholders are willing to press charges against their family members, which is often requested by issuing banks in fraud investigations.
  2. Lost or Misplaced Cards – Yes, this happens frequently. You leave your card at a bar or restaurant and find suspicious charges the next day. You’ll need to contact your issuer to get a new physical card reissued.
  3. Data Breaches – It seems like we can’t go a few months without hearing about another large-scale data breach. While credit card numbers aren’t always the target, sometimes they are. And if the fraudsters get enough of your personal information, it can be used to open new credit cards in your name.
  4. Login/Password Leaks – If fraudsters manage to obtain your online credit card account login and password through spyware or phishing, they can use your card, take cash advances, and even apply for another card from the same issuer.

These are just a few common examples of how credit cards can be hacked and how your personal data can be used to obtain fraudulent accounts in your name.

Issuing Banks Bear the Responsibility for Fraudulent Charges

The next part might not be popular, but when someone hacks your credit card account, you’re not the real victim. When someone fraudulently uses your credit card, they’re using the bank’s money, not yours. If someone hacks your debit card, it’s a different story, as it directly impacts your funds.

Therefore, if you suspect your credit card account has been compromised, contact your issuer immediately. If you don’t, the issuer has reason to believe you made those purchases, and they’ll hold you (the cardholder) responsible for the payment.

By acting quickly, you can help ensure that the fraudulent charges are addressed and that your account is secure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *