Top ways in which credit card data are stolen

Gone are the days of the good old-fashioned purse snatcher. With little brute and more skill, thieves only need a minute, sometimes a second, to pilfer your credit card data. This spring criminals hacked, phished or skimmed their way into the systems of Michaels Stores, Sony, marketing firm Epsilon, Citibank and even security expert RSA, among others. In some cases, they only obtained names and emails. In the worst cases, they got credit card numbers.

These are the best things to know about the procedure in which credit card information is compromised with.

Waiter/Waitress

The waiter/waitress whisks away your credit card and swipes it through the restaurant’s register. Then, one pulls out a small device, about the size of an ice cube, from her apron and swipes it through that, They are one of the suspects.

Credit card reader

The operator switches the credit card reader at the register with a modified one of his own, says FICO’s Fraud Chief Mike Urban. For the next week, the sales clerk unwittingly collects credit card data on the modified reader until the trio returns, takes back the modified reader and restores the original terminal.

Hackers

The hackers puts malware on public computers and gathers the information you share with that computer, says Urban. They also infiltrates the computer system of banks, retailers and other businesses and extracts personal account information.

The information buyers

The person who buys the information verifies it and then sells it to a person who creates fraudulent credit cards with your account information attached to it. The card maker then sells it to other criminals who buy goods such as stereos or baby formula and sells them to regular consumers.

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