Credit card fraud just got bigger and worse!
By Ankit Sharma
May 23, 2008
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Keeping a credit card just got a bit more expensive! Stealing and using a credit card are passé. In today’s world, hackers are working overtime to find out new innovative ways to make new money, and going by the look of things, they are gaining a sizeable lead in this domain! From skimming and cloning your credit card, to making fake sites; from using stolen cards on them to using new online trading models, the cyber thieves are on prowl to hack into your bank account.

Now, it’s no longer safe to trust a restaurant employee or petrol pump attendant with your credit or debit card. Many cases of multiple cards being ‘skimmed’ and ‘cloned’ are being reported to the police and bank authorities, and many of them are originating when a customer is least expecting it! So next time, think twice about giving your credit card in a restaurant or in a petrol pump! Card thieves are using magnetic stripe readers and encoders which are easily available in the market for $250-$600. While a card reader can read the data on the magnetic band of your credit or debit card, an encoder can encode it on to any plastic card with a magnetic band, even a normal hotel room key.

Rajat Khare, who is the founder director of network security management company, Appin, said, "All credit cards can be cloned by simply inscribing cards with a similar magnetic band just like a hotel number is fed into a magnetic room key. These kinds of card frauds are becoming common."

Banks are trying to fight this menace, by advising customers to subscribe to mobile alerts. ICICI Bank card products head Sachin Khandelwal said, “We have a 45% market share with about 8.5 million credit cards in the market. The percentage of card frauds is low at about 4 basis points of all transactions. Nevertheless, we shoot an SMS alert for every transaction above Rs 2,000 to all our customers. Skimming of credit cards is generally done when a customer places a mail or phone order transaction.”

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