How Your Credit Card Information Is Stolen and What to Do About It

Your credit card information can be stolen right under your nose without the actual card leaving your possession. Unfortunately, most victims of this type of credit card theft don’t what’s happening until after their credit card account information has already been used. Often, fraudulent credit card charges are the first sign that credit card information has been stolen. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to clear your name and get your credit card accounts under control.

How Thieves Steal Credit Card Information

In many instances, thieves don’t steal your credit card information directly from you. Instead, they get it somewhere else in the credit card processing chain.

Hacking Into Other Businesses

Thieves can steal your information by breaching a company where you’ve used your credit card or a company that handles some aspect of credit card processing. Since data breaches target entire organizations, sometimes millions of consumers have their credit card information stolen, as was the case in the Equifax data breach of 2017.2

Skimming

A credit card skimmer is a small device that captures your credit card information in another otherwise legitimate transaction. Thieves secretly place credit card skimmers over the credit card swipe at gas stations and ATMs and retrieve the information captured.

Installing Malware or Viruses

Hackers can design software that’s downloaded in email attachments or other software and sits on your computer, tablet, or smartphone undetected. In one instance, hackers take advantage of public Wi-Fi to trick people into installing malware disguised as a software update. The software monitors your keystrokes or takes screenshots of your page and sends the activity to the thief

Phishing Scams

Thieves set up traps to trick consumers into giving up credit card information. They do this by phone, by email, through fake websites, and sometimes even via text message. In one scam, for example, you may verify some personal information in a call that you think is from your credit card issuer’s fraud department, but it’s really from a scammer. It’s important that you only give out your credit card and other personal information only in transactions you can be sure are safe.6

Dumpster Diving

Throwing away documents or receipts that have your full credit card number printed puts you at risk of theft. Always shred these documents before tossing them in the trash. Unfortunately, you can’t control how businesses dispose of their records. If they fail to shred records that contain credit card information, the information is at risk of being stolen.

What Thieves Do With Your Credit Card Information

If a thief gets access to your credit card information, they can profit from it in a few different ways. All of them can make life more difficult for you. Thieves can use your credit card information to buy things over the internet. It’s much easier for them to do this if they also have your billing zip code and the security code from the back of your credit card.

Thieves may also sell your credit card information on the dark web—and the more information they have, the more it’s worth. For example, it may be sold for a higher price if the thief also has your name, address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and three-digit security code from your credit card.8

Thieves can also make legitimate-looking credit cards by programming your credit card information on a gift card or prepaid credit card. When the card is swiped, the transaction processes just like it would if you swiped your actual credit card.9

How to Know If Your Credit Card Information Has Been Stolen

This kind of credit card theft can go undetected for several months. It’s not like a physical credit card that you notice is missing. You likely won’t know until you notice unauthorized charges on your credit card account.

Don’t count on your bank to catch instances of credit card theft. Your credit card issuer may call you or freeze your account if they notice purchases outside your normal spending habits, but don’t take for granted that your bank will always notify you of potential fraud.

Monitor your credit card often and immediately report fraudulent purchases, regardless of the amount. It’s not enough to read through your transactions once a month when your credit card statement comes. Once a week is better, and daily or every other day will let you spot fraudulent purchases before the thief can do too much damage to your account. Some credit cards can send real-time transaction notifications to your smartphone.

Also pay attention to news regarding hacks and data breaches. News reports will often include the name of the store affected and the date or date range the data beach occurred. If you shopped during that time period, there’s a chance your credit card information was stolen.

What to Do If Your Credit Card Information is Stolen

It’s easy to know when your actual credit card has been stolen because your credit card is actually gone. It’s not as easy to know when your credit card information has been stolen. Often, you only notice signs that hint your credit card information has been stolen, like unauthorized purchases on your credit card.1

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft of any kind, including having your credit card information stolen, then you can visit IdentityTheft.gov. The website, which was created by the Federal Trade Commission, will walk you through the steps you need to take to report it and recover.

Review your recent credit card transactions to see if there are any you didn’t make. Note the fraudulent charges you found. Even if you didn’t find any fraudulent charges, call your credit card issuer and let them know you think your credit card information has been stolen. Let your card issuer know of any transactions on your account that you didn’t authorize.

You have protection under the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act if your credit information is stolen. You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges so long as you report the loss before your credit card is used. You must report the transactions to your credit card issuer so they can investigate and remove them from your account.

The credit card issuer will cancel your old credit card account, remove the fraudulent transactions from your account, and send a new credit card and a new credit card number. Continue monitoring the transactions on your new credit card. Also shred any documents with your credit card information on them. As soon as you start using your credit card, the details are at risk of being stolen.

Keeping Your Credit Card Information Safe

If you use your credit card at all, anywhere, your information is at risk. Still, there are a number of things you can do to keep your credit card information safe. That includes using strong passwords, being cautious about where you use your credit card, always using secure websites, and avoiding storing your credit card details in your web browser.13

By LaToya Irby

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Is It Possible To Recover Funds From Trading & Investment Frauds

Investors of certain markets have had a hard time this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic. This year global economies have experienced a heavy recession. And if that is not bad enough, investment scammers are still stealing from innocent people. Trading and investment scams evolve every day. Nowadays they have become so sleek, you don’t know you have been robbed until it is too late. Fund recovery after such scams is a hard and long process, but it can be done.

Trade and investment scams are cleverly orchestrated schemes to rob innocent people. They convince people to part with their money with fake promises of high returns. They prey on people who want to get returns on investments fast.

Nowadays they impersonate genuine investment traders and convince people to invest. They may even make one payment to trap you into investing more money, only for you to suffer devastating losses.

Some of the Notorious Investment Scams

The common characteristic of investment scams is that they promise low-risk investments with high returns. They come in different languages but the premise is the same. For instance, an advance fee scheme persuades you to give a small amount for triple returns. You may feel that you are giving just a small amount, but if they trick millions of people, they make a lot of money. They come up with “boiler room” offices to convince you that they are professionals. Once you lose your money, you cannot trace them.

Some scammers pitch “exempt securities” and sell you on a fake exclusivity narrative. They convince you of how lucky you are to be the first one to know of these securities. Later you realize that you paid for non-existent securities. 

Forex scams are also on the rise. Some forex trading is legal. But scammers have come up with clever ways to mint money out of innocent traders. They convince you to open ghost accounts with promises of big returns. Once you make your deposits that is the end of the road for you.

Other scams include offshore investment, pension scams, and Ponzi scams. You send your money or offshore investments in the name of lowering your taxes and you lose it all. Ponzi scams promise quick cash in a short time. You may also fall victim to pump and dump schemes that lead you to buy worthless stocks. 

How Can You Spot a Scam?

You have to be very careful about money nowadays. Trade and investment scammers come up with clever ways to deceive victims every day. Some of these scams look legit and before you know it, millions of people lose their money. However, here are the obvious signs that you can look out for in these scams.

  • They offer very high returns with very low risks.
  • They promise you hot insider secrets and information
  • They give you pressure to make decisions instantly. They convince you that you are running out of time.
  • The sellers are not legally registered to trade stocks or investments. Some of them can convince you with fake documentation. Always do your background research.
  • They keep sending you spam messages on social media and your email address.
  • Pension schemes target senior citizens and coerce them to disclose personal information about their pension plans.
  • They are relentless with unsolicited advice. They barely let you breathe. A genuine company lets you breathe and make a sound decision.

Why Do People Fall Victim to These Scammers?

Surprisingly, more people fall into these scams every year. There are many reasons why someone may fall victim to these scams. Some of them are very crafty in the way they market themselves. They forge legitimate documents and convince people that they are legit. They use very inviting language and narratives to attract the masses. They use false advertisements and stories to convince you that others have had successful investment returns. They offer the lowest risk and the highest returns.

The rate of unemployment and poverty is on the rise. Simple psychological manipulation can cause a person to fall victim to these scams. They promise quick riches to people who are struggling and they believe them. They ask for something small at first, so people oblige.

Can People Recover Their Money From a Scammer?

Investment fraud causes disorientation, stress, and worse, financial distress. Funds recovery is a long and hard process, but it can be a success. Victims should report the scammers to anti-fraud government authorities. You can also contact your bank immediately to reverse transactions. If it’s not too late you can get your money back. Collect as much evidence as possible and file a funds recovery police case.

If you can get a hold of the scammers, you can file a class act as a group and go to court. If you are not a part of a group scam, get an investment lawyer, and file a single case. You can also use a fund recovery company that specializes in asset recovery. They conduct a detailed investigation with legal help and they often recover money lost to scammers.

Binary options continue to be a highly-debated subject among retail traders and even though some might argue that some brokers focusing on these assets have a long track-record in providing reliable services, in reality, the whole binary options industry favors the appearance of scammers.

Letting aside the fact that trading these instruments comes with a high risk of loss, there are plenty of other reasons that this is a “heaven for scammers” and in this article we will like to have more focus on the matter.

Binary options favor the “house”

If we think about how binary options work, the trader is always on the weaker side. Most of the binary options brokers offer around 80% payout rate and that has many implications on the probability to generate returns in the long run.

To be more specific, let’s say to buy a binary option with $10 and assume the price will be above the strike price at the expiration (call option). If you are right, then you will make $8 in profit. However, if you are wrong, you will lose all $10, which puts you in a position to have a high win rate over any given period, to be a profitable trader.

If we combine this disadvantage with the ability to manipulate prices on the platform (this will be discussed in one of the following sections), traders are faced with guaranteed losses, rather than profits, when dealing with a binary options scam broker. A lot has changed in terms of regulation for these companies and because of that, now we have most of them operating offshore.

Binary options brokers generally operate offshore

Since 2018, European regulators made a historic decision to reshape the regulation for retail online trading. As a result, there are tighter restrictions for traders with little experience and at the same time, binary options are prohibited for retail traders. This had been a major hit for brokers, which are now operating offshore.

This creates an even bigger problem, considering they can now operate free from any regulatory requirements, and even target customers based in areas where binary options trading is no longer allowed. As with any other broker type, operating via an offshore entity should be a major warning flag, signaling a binary options scam or a Bitcoin fraud.

There’s a long list of scams related to binary options, and more than 90% of them were operating via offshore companies. As a result, traders that still want to trade these instruments, despite acknowledging the high risk associated, should avoid these entities and instead look for brands that have a long track record in providing reliable services.

Marketing exaggerated returns

Like most of the fraudulent companies, a binary options scam will use aggressive social media advertising to reach inexperienced people and promise exaggerated returns. This is a typical practice and works many times because financial strains are pushing some to take drastic measures and embark on avenues that could generate returns fast.

Unfortunately, a binary options broker can’t ensure or talk about the level of profitability you’ll be having. That will be depending on the market’s performance, your expertise in the world of trading, as well as the effectiveness of your trading strategy. The broker is a simple intermediary that creates a link between you and the market via trading software.

When dealing with a binary options broker promising you will make a lot of money, the best thing to do is walk away as fast as possible. It can be a company operating not on behalf of customers, but one that wants to set up a trading or bitcoin scam.

Accurate pricing on the binary options platforms?

Another important aspect to consider has to do with how the prices displayed on the platform are calculated. A binary options scam can be easily spotted by simply reading its terms & conditions. These companies are using a method that implies averaging the pricing from multiple liquidity providers. As a result, the prices you see on the platform are not the actual market valuations, but averages calculated by the broker.

Considering binary options trading is generally short-term and even a pip can make the difference between profit and loss, it would be important to have the most accurate pricing.A bitcoin scam hide behind this price adjustment technique that generally results in massive losses for clients in the long run.

Many binary options brokers turned out to be scams

After taking an in-depth look online, we’ve noticed that there are plenty of blacklists with binary options scam. Only a few companies are still labeled as not scam, which means that most were eventually flagged as “not to be trusted”. For someone looking now for a binary options broker, this fact should be raising doubts, even on those companies that are still out there providing their services.

Keep in mind that most binary options brokers have affiliated programs and some positive online reviews may be coming from individuals that are affiliates and are generating income based on each new customer they bring in. As a result, even reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. The ultimate goal should be to avoid being trapped in a binary options scam and any Bitcoin fraud. By considering all the relevant data we’ve highlighted today, we think that’s possible.

Final Words

We can conclude that binary options trading comes with high risks and the whole industry is designed in such a way that scammers can thrive. If you want to trade these instruments, despite all the downsides, it would be important to do in-depth research and find out a company that has been operating for a long time and gets reliable positive feedback from customers. So many binary options scams had been uncovered during the past few years and this should raise serious questions about the interests of these brands. Finding the best binary options broker is a very complex process and will require you to not make any concessions.

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Are you a victim? MoneyBack Hero can help you get your money back. Click Here for a free consultation: https://www.moneybackhero.com Looking for more info on Binary Options, Forex, CFD, or Cryptocurrency scams? Take a look at these helpful articles on the Money Back Hero site: 1) Read to understand the psychology employed by the scammers: https://www.moneybackhero.com/educate… 2) Not sure if you are the victim of a trading scam? Read this for the telltale signs: https://www.moneybackhero.com/how-do-… 3) Want to know your best option to get your money back? Red this to discover your #1 weapon to get your money back: https://www.moneybackhero.com/how-do-… At Money Back Hero (https://www.moneybackhero.com), we are not merely a wealth recovery service, we are your personal team of experts who do one thing all day long: use every legal trick in the book to get your money back from the scammers.

Uncovering The Money Laundering Attempts Of Bitcoin Fraudsters Behind The Recent Twitter Scam

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Performing an initial investigation to follow the funds related to the Twitter TWTR hack that happened on July 15 to Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Bill Gates and numerous other celebrities and executives of large technology companies, it is evident the many of those funds already hit reputable exchanges that might freeze the funds.

During the Twitter hack, the fraudsters, posing as celebrities, falsely informed users that they have decided to partner up with a mysterious organization called “CryptoForHealth” in order to ‘give back to their community.’ The scam has been covered extensively by several news outlets including Forbes contributors like Jasse Damiani, that reviewed the initial steps just after the hack.

As different celebrities were sharing and resharing those posts that turned out to be fraudulent, some of their followers decided to open up their own wallets and pay as well. More than $130,000 later, most of the posts had been removed, the website of CryptoForHealth shut down. Twitter stepped in to forbid some users to tweet, but it is high time to recover the funds to the victims or at least specify to which exchanges they have been sent.

Despite a common misperception as Bitcoin represents a pseudo-anonymous network, transactions performed on it are both visible to the general public and traceable. Addresses can be directly connected to particular exchanges.

As scammers are still moving funds between cryptocurrency wallets, investigators from all over the world have stepped in with the goal to identify types of exchanges and freeze the funds on different accounts.

From the initial review, it is evident that much of the funds have been transferred to Binance. In a recent statement to TechCrunch, Binance Security Team informed that they have been aware of the situation and launched an investigation, which is visible to the crypto community as their team marked several cryptocurrency wallets as fraudulent.

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Earlier today, an article released by Cointelegraph revealed that addresses used by the hackers had previously been linked to Coinbase and BitPay, common names in the cryptocurrency exchange and merchant sphere.

“According to our initial analysis the funds have reached many exchanges, but the core of the funds originated from the main Binance address. It is now clear that scammers were sending funds back and forth between different cryptocurrency addresses in an attempt to confuse law enforcement agents, wash them. Once completed fraudsters have sent a large parts of the funds to an address belonging to Binance yet again, which has been rather quickly discovered and flagged by the exchange.

Secondary besides Binance, it seems though that multiple exchanges like Bittrex, as well as MercadoBitcoin in Brazil have received funds from this scam already,” said Sven Martinsson, the Founder & CEO of VALEGA Chain Analytics – a Blockchain Investigations and analytics firm working out of Finland.

Even though the investigation remains novel, due to the transparency of the open blockchain of Bitcoin, it is possible to follow different transactions to a different account at cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Being personally engaged in one such ‘crypto exchange platform,’ competent and motivated compliance team members have a portfolio of tools and processes to stop such transactions in case they are being spotted. The fraudsters seem to know that so that there is a race for the fraudsters to try to exchange the funds to fiat currencies as soon as possible and Blockchain investigators to mark as many wallets as quickly as possible to freeze those funds.

Even though the identity of the scammers remains yet unknown, there are tools in place which allow for visualizing transactions between different accounts and exchanges that use the publicly available data and connect wallets to crypto exchanges.

Here are a couple of examples of how the fraudsters anticipated to hide their tracks. Everything starts on the left side in the middle of the graph, which represents the first address to which the scammers asked users to pay. Each additional connected line of dots represents their effort to hide their tracks and mix funds between different wallets and exchanges.

A more comprehensive description has been placed below each picture which represents a print screen out of a Blockchain Analytics Software.

Zooming in closer to different dots allows us to directly view the cryptocurrency wallet address which has been used. It is connected to a particular wallet provider or a platform (with strong but not utmost certainty). In order to review where funds were directed and how much was sent.

Investigations performed by compliance teams take time as they are most likely performed by individuals who are working for different exchange platforms or geographies, so sometimes the funds are able to be transferred to an account before they are being flagged as fraudulent. Red accounts have been already marked as fraudulent.

Following each transaction and the connected spiderweb of transfers between cryptocurrency addresses helps to spot a time period in which fraudsters will try to wash funds with a legitimate exchange. As stated below, fraudsters launched a transfer to MercadoBitcoin in Brazil as well as Bittrex.com already.

This review is just a snapshot of the current stage of transfers performed by the fraudsters as of the afternoon of July 17th. It does not display traces in full to avoid obstructing justice or investigations. Even though it has been a Twitter hack and not a Bitcoin hack, the pseudo-anonymity of bitcoin and visibility of each transaction with tools like the wallet explorer does prove that the Crypto community is not helpless and knows more and more with each transaction the fraudsters perform. It is important to underline that it was not Bitcoin that got hacked, it was Twitter. Bitcoin was just the chosen means of payment.

Sven will release a collected investigation free of charge to anyone who can identify themself as an investigator in the process.

Disclaimer:

The transaction investigation remains ongoing. For security reasons and not to interfere with investigations, this is just a teaser to provide insights into different tactics of criminal networks. Exchanges in question have the appropriate means to stay compliant and do their reporting accordingly. This is NOT an attempt to defame or point any fingers and the statements are assumptions, not yet evidence. It remains a visualization of investigation that affected many users and the account holders on Twitter.

For transparency purposes – The contributor of this post is a Head of Compliance in one of the leading Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the Nordics called ‘Safello’.

He serves as a board advisor to Valega Chain whose team has launched an investigation to follow the stolen funds on his request. Statements about how Blockchain Analytics Tools work have been performed on the example of Valega Chain Analytics and should not be generalized to other Blockchain Analytics Tools as all of them have their own criteria, tools, and internal processes. 

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. I’ve been writing about the world of technology, video games, and entertainment for the last decade. If you’ve seen my work around the Web, you’ve probably found me analyzing and reviewing your favorite smartphones, televisions, and video games. And if you’re on Twitter, you probably see me asking for movie recommendations and complaining about the tech in my life not working the way it should. In my free time, I’m usually tinkering with tech, improving my surround sound setup, and insatiably consuming all the world of tech, games, and geek culture has to offer. I write for Forbes Finds. If you buy something using a link on my posts, Forbes Finds may receive a small share of that sale.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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Why Traditional Identity Verification Methods Are On Their Way Out

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When was the last time you provided your mother’s maiden name, or perhaps the name of your first pet, to prove your identity to access an online account? Probably not that long ago. This type of online identity verification, known as knowledge-based authentication, is little more than a speed bump to the modern fraudster. More modern methods, such as SMS-based two-factor authentication, also have their own set of vulnerabilities that today’s cybercriminals can exploit.

Simple social media searches can reveal the answers to supposed secret questions used by KBA solutions and the 4- and 6-digit codes from SMS-based 2FA can be intercepted. Because cybercrime and the dark web have evolved and become far more sophisticated, traditional forms of authentication that were once effective can no longer reliably ensure that the person logging into their online account is the actual account owner.

Hitting the headlines

In many cases fraudsters don’t even need to comb your Facebook account or intercept your text verification code for your personal information — they often already have it. This is because of massive data breaches that have sent millions of sets of personal data spilling into the ether. Names, usernames, passwords, telephone numbers, dates of birth and security answers — cyberspace is awash with it.

Data breaches happen on a near-daily basis and include global names like Yahoo!, Facebook, Quora, and Marriott/Starwood. One recent example is a December 2019 Microsoft data breach that exposed 250 million customer records — that’s a quarter of a billion people impacted by just one data breach alone.

Even in the GDPR era, these breaches are coming at a rapid-fire pace, and it’s therefore vital that we move away from traditional identity verification methods. This is where facial biometrics need to be considered as a safe and secure alternative for accessing accounts and verifying certain transactions or activities online.

Out with the old

None of the traditional methods of identity verification come without weakness and the risks are far more widespread than you think — including methods you might have considered sophisticated not so long ago. This is indicative of the speed of tech innovation and the evolving nature of online fraud, which underlines the current lack of innovative security methods.

Password-based logins are problematic because passwords are easily forgotten and inherently insecure. Out-of-Band or SMS-based 2FA also continues to be a common form of authentication, but hackers are able to easily intercept the 4- and 6-digit SMS codes via the SS7 telecommunication protocol network, or through phishing attacks.

Token-based authentication is also failing to meet the mark as a modern form of verification. An obvious drawback is that tokens must be carried at all times and are non-transferable — a characteristic that’s outdated in today’s user experience-focused world. There is also the simple weak point that tokens or fobs can be lost or stolen, presenting a further argument for more secure methods, such as biometric authentication.

Despite this, biometrics are not necessarily a silver bullet solution. Innovative fraudsters are now capable of deploying spoofing techniques, sophisticated enough to beat many kinds of biometric security once deemed robust. However, liveness detection in tandem with facial biometrics is presenting a very real solution to the problem, and with the help of Apple’s Face ID, millions of people are more familiar and comfortable with the process of using your face as a security measure.

The new dawn

The sun may be setting on the wide range of traditional verification methods that no longer cut it, but this doesn’t leave us alone in the dark. Providers of innovative identity proofing and authentication are bringing about a step change for businesses across the industrial spectrum. Using cutting-edge AI and video selfie technology, the identity of the user accessing the associated account can be linked — this is a glimpse into the future of online identity verification.

This powerful technology is available today, and it’s reliable and fast enough to eliminate variables that would once have skewed results and enabled hackers to gain access. For example, weight loss and weight gain, wearing glasses or the loss or growth of facial hair have previously been changing factors that have disrupted less sophisticated tools.

The technology’s power to restore confidence, safety and successfully analyse variables are not the only trailblazing characteristics. It will also clear a path for innovation across a range of industries. To bring this to life, it could allow you to confirm your identity in a range of situations where necessary, from checking into a hotel room you’d booked, or unlocking the keys to a car you had rented using just your selfie. It even unlocks the possibility of doing away with passwords all together. In terms of evolution, the process will take a few mere seconds to complete and will require nothing more than a smartphone, relegating the need to remember tens or hundreds of passwords to a thing of the past.

The vital need for this security enhancement is being realised by leading companies, from industries like financial services, healthcare, travel, entertainment and gaming. Modern businesses are understanding that in light of cybercrime, the dark web and the global nature of online fraud, they need to dispense with traditional, insecure and unreliable methods of authentication, and adopt modern biometric-based methods.

Philipp facilitates Jumio’s product strategy and, with his team, turns visions into products. Prior to Jumio, Philipp was responsible for paysafecard, Europe’s most popular prepaid solution for online purchases.

Source: https://forbes.com

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