Sometimes Stolen Credit Card Information is Difficult to Avoid


Recently, I saw a waitress on a popular TV talk show discussing how she captures stolen credit card information from restaurant customers. It was a pretty frightening story, because of the way she was able to so easily obtain stolen credit card information. It was also very discouraging to know there was very little anyone could do to avoid it.

Basically, she straps a small device to her ankle, called a credit card scanner. The device is designed to scan a credit card to capture information from the card's magnetic strip. The waitress explained that when she picks up the customer's credit card for payment, she pretends to drop the credit card on the floor. When she stoops to pick it up she quickly swipes the card in the credit card scanner.

The customer's credit information including their name, credit card number, cvv code, expiration date, and billing zip code is immediately saved on the credit card scanner devise. The credit card information is later used to make a duplicate credit card. The thieves then go shopping.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to avoid the information stolen given this technique. However, here are a few recommendations you can follow to minimize its affects should this happen to you:

  1. Subscribe to a good credit monitoring service and monitor your credit reports monthly and check your card accounts for unusual charges.

  2. Contact your credit card company and set up an online or smart phone alert to be immediately notified of credit card charges above a pre-set limit.

  3. Immediately notify your credit card company to cancel your account if you notice unfamiliar charges to your account.

  4. Contact your credit card company in advance to become familiar with the amount of the limits of your personal liability should your credit card information be used by someone else.

The key is to be proactive and make arrangements to be notified as soon as possible about any unauthorized activity concerning your credit card information.

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