Florida criminal credit card fraud: Lessons to learn

Martin Beckett
Jul 11, 2007
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A huge credit card fraud amounting to US$ 75 million has been unearthed by the U.S. Secret service. The criminal gang caught perpetrating this credit card fraud was based in South Florida and had international links. The secret service agents recovered more than 200,000 credit card account numbers from these gangsters.

The modus operandi of these credit card criminals transcended international borders. These criminals used to send large amounts of money to cyber criminals in eastern Europe using E-gold accounts. The money was used to buy stolen credit card numbers from their east European counterparts. The stolen credit card numbers were used to generate counterfeit credit cards at numerous locations throughout South Florida. These credit cards were then used for fraudulent purchases and money withdrawal.

Strange but true, credit card crimes such as these and identity theft are on the rise. Everyday we hear or see new methods by which criminals exploit the vulnerabilities in the system. This particular case of credit card fraud was a visible example of co-operation between international criminals to promote mutual interests.

How can we protect ourselves from such criminals? This question must be troubling many of us. There is no doubt about the fact that criminals are getting wiser day by day, but if we take simple precautions like the ones listed below we can avoid getting into their traps for sure.

Always keep your credit cards safely, don't ever let them out of sight.

The PIN number of credit card shouldn't be posted everywhere, instead it should be memorized and the document containing PIN should be destroyed immediately.

Make sure that websites and online shopping sites on which you use the credit cards are 128 bit encrypted and has the latest security and privacy safeguards.

Whenever you pay your bills, or swipe the credit card make sure that it never leaves your sight. Don't let it fall into wrong hands.

Take extra care wherever you exchange your credit card details and destroy all the payment slips which have any reference to your credit card number.

Check your monthly statement carefully and if you find any discrepancy, report it to the credit card company immediately and if things go seriously out of control get your credit card blocked to prevent further misuse.

The dangers of credit card fraud are enormous, but a little care and one can steer clear of all such difficulties. Authorities are constantly taking measures to tackle such credit card frauds, and we should supplement their efforts with the vigil on our part.