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Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Identity Theft Credit Card Fraud

  • Study finds thieves using credit card chargeback policies against online merchants

    Nine out of ten online merchants leave themselves vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to the results of a survey conducted by SignatureLink and CardNotPresent.com. In a statement to reporters, SignatureLink CEO Greg Wooten noted that only 10 percent of websites surveyed require shoppers to accept terms and conditions using voice consent, e-signature, or physical [...]

  • FTC closes fake platinum credit card operation

    Marketers behind the "Platinum Trust Card" and the "Express Platinum Card" can never sell credit cards or make cold calls again, according to the Federal Trade Commission. According to FTC officials, a Philadelphia company operating under the names Apogee One Enterprises and Marquee Marketing used telemarketing services to pitch platinum credit cards that they claimed [...]

  • Skimming threatens debit card users, while fraud strikes 1 percent of credit card transactions

    Twice as many credit card fraud cases involve phone or online transactions than retail sales, according to new data from FICO. However, researchers found that sophisticated counterfeit rings have raised the stakes for merchants over the most recent twenty month survey period. Researchers reported an increase in "skimming," a technique where criminals tamper with ATMs and [...]

  • Be on the lookout for summertime credit card scammers

    The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both issued warnings in recent weeks about bogus credit card consolidation companies. According to consumer tips to the bureau, callers claiming association with the CFPB ask their targets for credit card numbers for the purpose of verifying accounts. Likewise, the FTC reports an uptick in [...]

  • Smartphone users have more payment fraud but detect it faster

    Credit card industry analysts who fear mobile payment technologies will increase fraud aren't seeing the big picture, according to Javelin Strategy & Research founder Jim Van Dyke. In a post to Javelin's corporate blog, Van Dyke drew from his company's research to show two ways consumers can look at payment fraud data. On one hand, Javelin's [...]

  • FBI seizes web domains in stolen credit card crackdown

    FBI and Justice Department investigators seized three dozen domain names from websites that sell stolen credit card numbers, according to officials. Operation Wreaking hAVoC targeted sites that offered access to compromised accounts for between $2 and $100 per card number. Capital One, SunTrust and Bank of America representatives assisted investigators by confirming the validity of [...]

  • Credit card thieves test account numbers on campaign website

    Identity theft victims don't often complain about their stolen credit cards being used for political campaign donations. That's why staffers for Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy's re-election committee responded quickly to reports of fraudulent credit card charges on the campaign's website. Murphy and his staff posted an apology to their website, explaining that about 20 fraudulent [...]

  • 1.5M Visa, MasterCard accounts at risk in Global Payments data breach

    Visa and MasterCard officials revealed that more than 1.5 million credit card accounts could have been exposed during a data breach in the first quarter of 2012. Both payment platform providers notified member banks about potential exposure at a third-party payment processing network. Wall Street Journal reporters confirmed the breach with representatives at Global Payments, [...]

  • Verizon researchers claim 97 percent of data breaches could have been prevented

    Credit card numbers, email addresses, and passwords were just some of the 174 million compromised records the Verizon RISK Team studied for their annual review of the nation's data security. Cybercriminals rarely have to rely on an "inside man," since 98 percent of the security incidents Verizon studied generated from external sources. Instead, Verizon's security [...]

  • Identity thieves, debt collectors top list of FTC complaints in 2011

    Debt collectors racked up twice as many consumer complaints as credit card issuers in 2011, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Trade Commission. Yet, analysts awarded this year's top spot in the annual complaint roundup to identity thieves. The FTC's annual report on consumer disputes includes records of 279,156 identity theft issues, amounting to [...]

  • Visa offers five tips to avoid email phishing scams

    Visa Inc. security professionals want to welcome National Consumer Protection Week with stronger awareness about e-mail phishing scams. In a statement to reporters and on a new, Visa-branded security website, the company's fraud researchers offered five steps to reduce the threat of identity theft and financial loss. 1. "Consider all email requests for personal or payment [...]

  • FICO and Equifax warn banks about "hidden" credit card fraud

    On the surface, banks report some of the lowest credit card default, delinquency, and fraud rates they've experienced since the industry started keeping records. Yet, according to two major credit service firms, credit card issuers have yet to experience the full impact of hidden fraud across the global banking industry. FICO and Equifax recently hosted an [...]

  • Bank of America reissues credit cards after security breach

    Some Bank of America customers in upstate New York got a new credit card in the mail recently, but not all were sure why. The bank sent replacement debit cards and credit cards to customers who may have had their financial information compromised by a third party. A television station in Rochester, N.Y., reported some customers [...]

  • FTC cracks down on fake credit cards, phony debt collectors

    The Federal Trade Commission stepped up its prosecution of companies portraying high interest personal loans as bad credit credit cards and bill collection services, according to news reports. FTC investigators have traced complaints stemming from telemarketing calls to at least two companies, and investigators promise more details about their alleged fraud in the weeks to [...]

  • Canadian's credit card fraud scheme said to top $1.5 millionĀ 

    U.S Bank, Citibank and Discover each suffered a major hit recently due to identity theft and a serious case of fraud, all perpetrated by one man. A Canadian citizen, who was unemployed and receiving welfare assistance, is being charged with what prosecutors described as "one of the largest high-tech robberies in U.S history," according to [...]

  • Retailer refund compromised credit card security

    A British retailer's response to holiday delivery problems has raised questions about credit card security both in the U.K. and around the world. Luxury home goods merchant Fortnum & Mason has already apologized for computer glitches that kept many of its customers' online orders from arriving in time for Christmas. In statements to reporters, company [...]

  • Ancestry.com takes down veterans data mistakenly posted

    Social Security numbers and other key information about more than 2,200 living military veterans showed up by mistake on Ancestry.com, according to a Department of Military Affairs report. As department officials investigate the cause of a filing error that supplied the information to Ancestry.com, the VA announced it had already arranged for affected families to [...]

  • Zappos.com hack compromises partial credit card data

    Popular online shoe retailer Zappos.com alerted its employees and customers of a data breach that allowed hackers to see shoppers' personal information, but not their credit card numbers. In a posting on his company's public blog, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh advised employees to set aside at least 20 minutes to review information about the cyber [...]

  • Prepaid debit card fraud targets utility customers

    A new wave of fraud involving prepaid debit cards has sprung up across the country, especially targeting residents of Hispanic communities. Officials at Western Massachusetts Electric Company and San Diego Gas & Electric have warned utility customers in both states about fraudulent phone calls from impostors threatening to suspend electric service unless they receive immediate [...]

  • Credit card phishing in person with Australian delivery scam

    Brazen credit card thieves steal account information from consumers by posing as trusted vendors online and in person, according to reports from both the United States and Australia. Security researchers have long known about "phishing" operations that spoof the identities of well-known companies, such as banks and online subscription services. However, a new twist on [...]

  • Security concerns cost merchants $110B in abandoned credit card sales

    Consumers have grown so nervous about using credit cards online, merchants stand to lose as much as $110 billion in sales each year. Those figures come from a fall 2011 consumer study released by Javelin Strategy & Research and PaymentOne. Four out of five consumers surveyed told researchers that they would spend more money online [...]

  • Google Wallet vulnerable to identity theft attack by rogue apps

    A customer service feature designed to display key account information could leave Google Wallet users vulnerable to identity theft, according to researchers at viaForensics. After viaForensics posted its findings, financial industry trade magazine American Banker interviewed the company's chief investigative officer, Andrew Hoog. While Hoog noted that Google's mobile payment software stores linked MasterCard account [...]

  • PNC: Stolen credit card reports spike during holiday season

    The credit card industry is enjoying its own version of the holiday giving season, with credit card rewards offers and cash back deals popping up everywhere like nuts in a fruitcake. But the season of giving is apparently also the season of taking. PNC Bank recently released a study that showed that the number of [...]

  • Analysts: Banks tolerate credit card fraud to avoid customer embarrassment

    High net worth professionals make ideal targets for credit card fraud because some banks are reluctant to subject their most affluent cardholders to embarrassment over a declined transaction, according to a Dow Jones report. Analysts from Gartner and Javelin Strategy and Research investigated why some major lenders had not fully implemented new fraud technology for [...]

  • Investigators warn against credit card fraud by phony telemarketers

    Inexpensive online phone services and stolen cell phone accounts have led to a resurgence of an old credit card telemarketing scam. WWL-TV investigative reporter Bill Capo documented one such case in New Orleans. One of Capo's viewers received a phone call from someone posing as a customer service representative at a bank, suggesting she sign [...]

  • Stolen credit cards are targets for penny shaving

    Law enforcement officials have warned Americans to avoid "salami slicing," except at the corner deli. That's the nickname of the technique that criminals have used for decades to "shave" pennies or dollars from transactions in large organizations. Now, it's a tactic that identity thieves now use to target credit card accounts. In the credit card version [...]

  • Credit card trapping on the rise in Europe

    European security experts warn that a new method of stealing debit and credit card information could make its way to the United States very soon. According to the European ATM Security Team (EAST), increased attention to card skimming activity has driven identity thieves to resort to a strategy law enforcement officials call "card trapping" or [...]

  • Research: A little healthy paranoia helps limit credit card fraud

    More consumers complain to the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft than about anything else, according to FTC statistics. To kick off Cyber Security Awareness Month, Experian's ProtectMyID hired StrategyOne Research to learn more about how Americans leave themselves vulnerable to fraudulent credit card charges and other forms of financial fraud. Their results highlight four [...]

  • Discover earns top marks for credit card fraud resolution

    Discover Card resolves identity fraud cases better than nearly two dozen other credit cards, according to a new study from Javelin Strategy & Research. Javelin analysts released the seventh annual Card Issuer's Safety Scorecard in September, ranking 23 lenders on identity fraud protection, detection and resolution. Discover's top ranking for fraud resolution helped it land [...]

  • Credit card security report gives many merchants failing grades

    Despite the risk of severe penalties from credit card transaction networks, only 21 percent of merchants passed a payment security audit conducted by experts from Verizon. The communications company uses both voice and data lines to move data from retailers to bank servers, so it regularly measures how well its clients comply with industry standard [...]

  • Borders bankruptcy spurs FTC credit card privacy concerns

    Borders may have gone bankrupt, but it has yet to sell off its most valuable books: customer credit card data. The Federal Trade Commission filed court document in September, advising attorneys handling the retail chain's bankruptcy sale that it would watch closely to ensure financial data didn't end up in the wrong hands. In a letter [...]

  • Discover dumps disposable credit card numbers

    Secure Online Account Numbers, the Discover Card program that gave users a unique credit card number for each online purchase, is about to be a thing of the past. The company announced recently via an email to cardholders that it would discontinue the program on Sep. 8. As reported by The Chicago Tribune and The Consumerist, [...]

  • Online credit card payments via webcam? Here's Jumio

    Yesterday's science fiction is today's science fact with the all-new Jumio online payment processing, which turns an everyday webcam into a credit card reader. With "Netswiping," the new webcam credit card system unveiled on July 26, Jumio launches a new payment processing model that may soon eclipse the flawed security of tried-and-true data entry systems. Netswiping [...]

  • Study: Banks fall short on credit card fraud protection

    A new study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research shows that while banks are good at handling credit card fraud once it has occurred, they could be doing more to protect their customers' information from hackers and to prevent identity theft. The study ranked America's largest banks on a scale out of 100: 45 points for [...]

  • Credit card thieves target hotel guests in their rooms

    The latest credit card theft scheme is a play on the usual phone call scam, with an interesting twist: thieves are attempting to catch unsuspecting cardholders unawares by waking them in the middle of the night in their hotel rooms and pretending to be hotel staff. Credit card thieves have developed a new scam for hotel [...]

  • Bank of America tops credit card safety scorecard for fifth year

    Bank of America celebrates its fifth consecutive year as the top bank for credit card safety, according to analysts at Javelin Strategy & Research. The think tank released its annual Card Issuer's Safety Scorecard, revealing lenders with the best track records for fighting identity theft and fixing fraudulent transactions. Topping the 2011 list: Bank of America Discover U.S. [...]

  • Investigators advise consumers to watch credit card statements for fraud

    Credit card users often take fraud prevention for granted, say law enforcement and banking industry officials. Approximately one in 60 credit card transactions results in a chargeback, according to Visa's electronic payment processing company, Cybersource. While most of the high-profile press coverage about credit card fraud involves big-ticket items like personal electronics and vehicles, Cybersource data [...]

  • PlayStation hack attack compromises credit card data

    Credit card numbers stored on Sony's PlayStation Network could have been obtained by hackers, according to company officials. In a post to Sony's corporate blog, spokesperson Patrick Seybold offered some details into a major online attack that ground the company's person-to-person entertainment network to a halt. Sony officials alerted customers that an "intrusion" knocked Sony's [...]

  • Black market rates: $700 for an online banking login, only $2 for credit card number

    Cyber criminals have branched beyond selling credit card numbers, according to researchers at Panda Security. In a statement to reporters, representatives from the company's PandaLabs unit revealed details of their latest investigation into the online black market for consumer information. Identity thieves rely on networks of anonymous bulletin boards and live chat sessions to trade [...]

  • FDA warns of credit card scammers posing as pharmacists and fraud investigators

    The latest online scam involving fraudulent credit card charges has been revealed by an unlikely source: the Food and Drug Administration. In a statement to reporters, FDA officials detailed the results of their investigation into cyber-criminals who falsely portray themselves as FDA inspectors assessing fines on individual consumers.In most cases, the scam starts when a [...]

  • NetSuite and CyberSource team up to fight credit card fraud

    CyberSource and NetSuite jointly unveiled an integration of the two companies' products that could significantly reduce online credit card fraud for e-commerce companies. In a statement to reporters, company officials touted the combination of NetSuite's online ordering and financial tracking services with CyberSource's fraud management solution. When implemented into a company's network, the technology can [...]

  • Discover Card Rated Best at Credit Card Identity Theft Resolution

    Discover Card ranked first in a field of 26 credit cards reviewed for identity fraud resolution by analysts at Javelin Strategy & Research this month. On the industry intelligence firm's sixth annual Card Issuers' Identity Safety Scorecard, Discover also ranked second in credit card fraud detection, giving it an overall second place consumer safety rating.Javelin's [...]

  • Visa launches two new credit card fraud fighting programs

    Officials from Visa Inc. unveiled two new initiatives this month designed to help prevent credit card fraud. The company's new, consumer-facing website, VisaSecuritySense.com, offers practical tips for personal financial security in both English and Spanish. In addition, Visa announced its participation in the National Cyber Security Alliance's "Stop. Think. Connect." consumer education campaign.A recent Javelin [...]

  • Verizon warns 4 in 5 retailers vulnerable to credit card theft

    Since 2006, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has helped merchants and credit card issuers lock down retail terminals and e-commerce networks against identity thieves. However, a new report from Verizon indicates that only one in five businesses passed a PCI DSS inspection on the first try. The communications company maintains the [...]

  • Aldi warns customers of potential credit card breach

    Aldi became the latest retailer to warn consumers about a potential breach of credit card information at its stores. Unlike other consumer alerts involving stolen card numbers, the warning from Aldi's management team suggested that the company had fallen victim to a scheme usually reserved for ATM machines and automated gas pumps.According to company officials, [...]

  • CyberSource eliminates online merchants' need to store credit card details

    New merchant security guidelines and mounting consumer pressure have forced many e-commerce retailers to search for credit card processing platforms that store customer information offsite, away from their own computer networks. Visa, Inc. subsidiary CyberSource announced a new suite of merchant software tools that accomplish that goal without slowing down transaction times or increasing the [...]

  • Credit Card Theft Surpassing Drug Investigations, Says DOJ

    Law enforcement officials now spend more time tracking down identity thieves than drug dealers, according to recent figures provided by the U.S. Justice Department. Experts warn consumers to exhibit caution when using credit cards and debit cards, even during mundane transactions. Using a dedicated card when dining out can limit the potential damage caused by [...]

  • FTC Targets "Work at Home" Credit Card Scam

    Americans responding to "work at home" ads helped scammers pull over $10 million dollars from credit card accounts, according to investigators. The Federal Trade Commission revealed details of a four-year investigation into "money mules" that set up U.S.-based front companies for overseas con artists. Once these seemingly legitimate businesses were established in the names of [...]

  • New Credit Card Swipers Key to Fraud Prevention at Heartland

    Officials at Heartland Payment Systems hope that state of the art credit card merchant terminals can help restore consumer confidence at the checkout line. The company's new E3 platform automates the process of scrambling system codes that encrypt and secure customer credit card details after they pass from the magnetic stripe and into corporate servers. While few [...]

  • FTC Prepares to Enforce New Identity Theft Red Flags Rules

    Just days after identity thieves used Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw's credit card to purchase medical marijuana, the Federal Trade Commission has reminded banks and retail stores that its new "Red Flags Rule" takes effect June 1. The rule requires all financial institutions and creditors who process credit applications to implement a written identity theft prevention program. [...]

  • Blippy.com Leaks Credit Card Numbers to Google

    Financial security watchdogs have more to worry about with the discovery that social media site Blippy.com accidentally leaked the credit card numbers of at least five members to a search engine's cache. Full credit card numbers appeared in cached search results offered by Google, alongside transaction information that could have been used to gain access to [...]

  • Dave & Buster's Installs Credit Card Security Measures in FTC Settlement

    After nearly three years of investigation and prosecution, a case that brought identity thieves' tricks and tools to light has been closed. The Federal Trade Commission announced in late March that it reached a settlement with Dave & Buster's that the restaurant chain had left its point-of-sale network vulnerable to security breaches by hackers.The terms [...]

  • Exec's Identity Theft Inspires Wells Fargo Credit Card Alerts

    A text message received while on the treadmill convinced a Wells Fargo executive to move forward with a real-time credit alert service launching this month. According to a report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Kevin Rhein signed up for a test of a new account monitoring platform in development with Visa. His Blackberry buzzed with a note [...]

  • Credit Card Debt Settlement Fraud Cases Growing, Investigators Say

    As a Texas couple faces wire fraud charges for launching a phony debt settlement firm, residents in Maryland hope to recoup as much as $2.5 million in restitution after the closure of a larger debt settlement company. In both cases, phony debt counselors convinced their clients to deposit cash into special accounts that would be [...]

  • American Credit Cards Easier Targets for Criminals

    According to online security experts, America's lack of investment in breach-resistant credit cards has made the U.S. a prime target for identity thieves. Many European consumers carry cards with smart chips or RFID tags to deter forgeries, while added PINs or passcodes add extra security to online transactions. With no such security features mandated by [...]

  • FTC Forces Changes to LifeLock's Identity Theft Prevention Marketing

    Putting the CEO's Social Security number on billboards and on the radio wasn't enough to convince the Federal Trade Commission that LifeLock prevents identity theft. In fact, Richard Todd Davis' own run-ins with fraudsters helped spur the FTC complaint which LifeLock agreed to settle this month for $12 million.Federal regulators and 35 state attorneys general [...]

  • Hotel Restaurants Top Credit Card Hackers' Hotspots

    Threats from hotel valet parking services elevated from dings on bumpers to dings on credit reports, after a major Los Angeles landmark revealed that its own front driveway was the epicenter of a massive identity theft operation. Representatives from The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites told reporters this month that credit card terminals at its valet [...]

  • Credit Card Controversy Facing Florida Senate Candidate

    Mixing personal and business charges on the same credit card could jeopardize one candidate's chances for a Senate seat in Florida. According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio charged thousands of dollars in personal and household expenses provided to him by the Republican Party of Florida between 2005 and [...]

  • Federal Reserve Launches Credit Card Consumer Information Website

    American consumers will soon find a link to the same website listed on credit card applications, regardless of the issuing bank. Regulations enacted under the Credit CARD Act require all lenders to direct applicants to a common education website maintained by the Federal Reserve Board. That website formally launched this month, at www.federalreserve.gov/creditcard.The Federal Reserve's website [...]

  • Corporate Embezzlement Victims Sue American Express Over Fraud Detection Policy

    Lenders often boast about fraud prevention for their corporate credit card programs, but a new lawsuit raises questions about whether banks can or should review suspicious bill payment activities. Lawyers for audio equipment manufacturer Koss filed suit against American Express this month, asking for up to $20 million in damages in response to a Koss executive's [...]

  • Credit Card Fraud Investigators Expose 68,000 Hacked Accounts

    Security experts recently uncovered a list of over 68,000 online account usernames and passwords captured by amateur cyber-criminals, according to recent news reports. Investigators at law enforcement agencies and at private research companies used the discovery to warn consumers that even unsophisticated hackers can gain access to credit card account information and other crucial data [...]

  • Seattle Credit Card Skimming Investigation Reveals Two Common Fraud Techniques

    A credit card fraud case in Seattle highlights two of the most common ways that identity thieves gain access to personal data. Prosecutors say that a husband-and-wife team enticed a court worker and a fast food cashier to supply credit card numbers that were later used to purchase retail gift cards.The fast food worker named [...]

  • Visa Credit Card Issuers Recoup $60 Million from Heartland Hacking Incident

    Some Visa card issuers may be able to recoup losses from a major security breach by participating in a settlement program. Visa officials announced this month a $60 million settlement reached with Heartland Payment Systems over the processor's headline-making hacking attack in 2008. Criminals cracked security at some of Heartland's client retail locations, including convenience stores [...]

  • Visa Shuts Off Credit Card Processing to Web Scammers

    Consumers tricked by false advertisements for weight loss regimens and teeth whiteners received some unexpected intervention from one of the world's largest credit card service providers. Officials from Visa made the unusual move to shut down payment processing services to one hundred marketing companies found to have violated their merchant agreements. Many of the affected companies [...]

  • Credit Card Thieves Work the Phones During Holiday Season

    News reports indicate a surge of credit card fraud calls across the country. Scam artists call households, impersonating bank employees who need to collect credit card numbers and other personal information for a variety of reasons, including: Verifying a recent charge made on a card. Due to an increase in credit card skimming operations, criminals may [...]

  • Citi and American Express Credit Cards Protect Smartphone Users from Theft, Damage

    Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer is expired and is no longer available. Some smartphone users have become dismayed to discover that the traditional insurance plans tacked on to wireless bills each month don't cover loss, theft, or accidental damage. Many smartphone vendors offer replacement phone options that often cost $200 or more. Citi [...]

  • 19 Restaurants Hacked by Credit Card Scammers

    Consumer advocates have long considered restaurants a weak link in the chain of credit card security. Most customers willingly hand their credit cards off in folios to servers, who whisk them out of sight for minutes at a time. However, a new class action lawsuit suggests that credit card security breaches at restaurants aren't just the [...]

  • Corporate Credit Card Abuse Raises Questions in Wisconsin

    Controversy in a Wisconsin school district has reignited a debate over the ethical use of employer-provided credit cards. In Wausau, school officials discovered over $1,300 in unauthorized charges made on a card issued to a high school athletic director. Because the credit card was issued on an account tied to vending machine sales, charges to [...]

  • Discover Tops Credit Card Fraud Detection List

    Officials at Discover Financial Services announced that Discover Card topped the list of 25 major credit card issuers when ranked for identity fraud detection by Javelin Strategy & Research. The independent banking industry research group released findings from its most recent survey of credit card issuers. Researchers gathered data from lenders' websites and polled customer service representatives about [...]

  • Credit Card Theft Inspires Magnetic Counter-Measures

    Law enforcement officials and major retailers cheered the recent indictment of Florida resident Albert Gonzalez as a major blow against 

  • California Legislation Helps Curb Card Fraud

    In the interest of preventing credit card fraud, lawmakers and policy makers throughout the United States are introducing legislation that will make it more difficult for individuals to have their identity stolen from old sales receipts. In the past, federal laws have been enacted to help protect victims of identity theft; one specific example is the [...]