Credit Card Shaving – it sounds like what you would say if you were cutting back on your credit cards, but that’s not what it means. This is the latest credit card scam and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Isn’t that scary?
Q & A on Credit Card Shaving:
How do they get your credit card number? The thief makes a random list of 16 digit numbers. Then he starts trying to make purchases online with different combinations. If one works, then he knows he has a legitimate account. He doesn’t need to steal your card, or go through your trash. You still have your card and have no idea that someone is using your card numbers.
Why is it called “Credit Card Shaving?” The thief literally shaves the raised numbers off of other credit cards (usually cheap gift cards) and glues them onto a new card in the correct order. He now has a legitimate-looking card with your number. He can even use his own ID with the fake card to charge everything to you.
What about the magnetic strip on the back? The thief doesn’t need to change the magnetic strip, he just “scores” or scratches it so it can’t be used in the automated stripe reader at the check-out counter. Whenever a magnetic strip is damaged, the cashier simply enters it manually using the numbers on the front of the card. We’ve all had this happen with worn out debit cards or poorly working stripe readers.
What can you do about it? Since you can’t do anything to prevent it, the only thing you can do is monitor your accounts. Check your credit card statements for unusual purchases as soon as they arrive. If you check your accounts online, you can check anytime during the month for new charges.
Too much work? We use credit cards for convenience. We treat them like pre-approved micro-loans, or feel they’re safer than carrying cash because they can be canceled if stolen. In reality, the more cards and accounts you have, the more work is required to watch over them. Unfortunately, many people only learn that after it’s too late. Don’t be one of them.
About the author: Jill Russo Foster is the author. She provides practical tips for every day finances. Learn more about protecting your credit and living within your means, with Jill’s popular free reports and bi-monthly ezine.