Credit card fraud has always been the bane of credit card accepting merchants. Indeed, there have been several high-profile cases of fraud in the recent past that keep the credit card industry on its toes trying to come up with advancements and innovations that can minimize fraud. Well, they have succeeded somewhat, for card present fraud can now be minimized by EMV chip technology. However, EMV is not exactly new. Just new in the U.S. While there are numerous cases of credit card fraud, most fraudsters are never apprehended due to the difficulty of tracking the cases. However, a few famous cases of credit card fraud have been in the limelight.
The holiday season welcoming the year 2014 saw Target on the receiving end of a computer hack where hackers stole the credit and debit card information of more than 70 million of its customers. This not only damaged Target’s bottom line because the company faced class action suits and was required to issue new cards, but also posed a threat to the customers who were now more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
The Alberto Gonzalez’s Case
One famous fraudster who found himself woefully on the wrong side of the law is Alberto Gonzalez, a computer hacker. Gonzalez masterminded several hacks including hacks on TJX companies, Barnes & Noble, Heartland Payment Systems, and Sports Authority among others. It is estimated that he stole more than 45 million credit card numbers before he was caught in Florida after eluding the law for a long time.
The Biggest Cyber Crime Case of 2013
In 2013, the long arm of the law caught up with five Russian and Ukrainian men who had executed a series of credit card fraud crimes that cost the companies an estimated $300 million. The companies which were targeted in the breaches include Nasdaq, JC Penny, Carrefour SA and Jetblue Airways. The hackers, Drinkman, and Kalinin liaising with Kotov, Smilianets and Rytikov stole credit card information while evading detection by turning off their victim’s anti-viruses. They then disseminated these credit card numbers enabling a circle of crime that ran into hundreds of millions in losses.
Even with EMV chip technology, it is important for cardholders to be vigilant when it comes to their credit card information. While EMV cards may reduce card present fraud, they do nothing for online fraud and scams. To minimize your chances of being hacked, install the latest anti-virus and security software and keep it up to date. Making sure that any site where you enter personal information has an encryption sign, using different passwords and cash on delivery options as well as buying from reputed sites while ignoring phishing email, will go a long way in boosting your security.