What is a Credit Card Dump?
A credit card dump refers to a digital copy of stolen credit card information and is commonly used by fraudsters to clone credit cards and make unauthorized purchases.
- A credit card dump refers to a digital copy of stolen credit card information.
- Credit card dumps are sold to fraudsters to clone credit cards for the purpose of making unauthorized purchases.
- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission oversees a website that provides the appropriate steps to report and recover from credit card fraud.
Understanding a Credit Card Dump
Credit card information is most commonly stolen from:
- A credit card skimmer, which is an illegal card reader that is affixed to the mouth of a real card reader to copy credit card data. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are prime targets for affixing credit card skimmers.
- A malware-infected point of sale (POS) system
- A data breach
- Phishing websites
A digital copy of the stolen credit card information is then created – referred to as a credit card dump. Credit card dumps are sold on the internet (including the dark web) to fraudsters, primarily through wire transfer or cryptocurrency. The fraudsters either use the credit card dump to clone credit cards to make unauthorized purchases at brick-and-mortar stores or online or to resell to other buyers.
Indicators of Theft of Credit Card Information
The most common indicators that your credit card information is compromised include:
- Seeing unauthorized charges on your credit card
- Suddenly being locked out of your credit card account
- Unknown inquiries from collection agencies
- Receiving a notification from your bank of a low balance alert
Unfortunately, if an unauthorized transaction has not yet occurred, it is nearly impossible to determine if your credit card information has been stolen.
Tips to Protect Your Credit Card Information
Credit card companies use sophisticated tools that can potentially detect unauthorized transactions. For example, your credit card company may decline a transaction or require transaction authorization when (1) the transaction amount is above your typical amount or (2) the transaction is atypical of your normal purchasing habits.
There are numerous tips that you can personally employ to protect your credit card information:
- Keeping your credit card in a secure and safe place
- Keeping your credit card in sight at all times during purchases
- Checking automated teller machines for a credit card skimmer. Credit card skimmers affixed on a real card reader are generally not secured in place. If the card reader is loose, it may likely be a skimmer.
- Using only trusted and secure websites for online purchases
- Avoiding disclosing credit card information through e-mail or in social media messages
If Your Credit Card Information is Compromised
If you believe your credit card information has been compromised, contact the credit card company immediately to cancel your credit card and outline unauthorized charges. Numerous credit card companies follow a “zero liability” policy, meaning you will not be held liable for unauthorized charges.
The Federal Trade Commission oversees a website called IdentityTheft.gov, which provides the appropriate steps to report and recover from credit card fraud.
CFI is the official provider of the global Certified Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)® certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: