The number of credit card fraud cases increases every year, with most of them being reported in the U.S. Reports even show that credit card theft has been the most common type of identity theft in the last couple of years.
Credit Card Cracking is a particularly damaging type of credit card fraud that enables hackers to get access to your sensitive information as well as take control of your finances. Today, we explore credit card cracking and the ways in which small businesses can avoid its dire consequences.
What is Credit Card Cracking?
Credit card cracking refers to a criminal act that uses bots to fill the gaps in your credit card information and, in turn, can cause catastrophic financial consequences. The software “cracks” the missing data and makes the card disposable for the perpetrators.
Your name and Private Account Number (PAN) are usually the starting information the hacker uses to crack your cards. Other data, such as CVV number, expiration date, and your zip code, can be guessed much more easily since the number of combinations is limited.
How Can Someone get Your Credit Card Information?
Card cracking is made possible because necessary information such as your credit card number and the name written on the card are both easily obtainable. Knowing how criminals can get to them is can help you protect your business.
Your PAN can be acquired via the dark web (a hidden layer of the internet known for illegal activities that can be accessed using the Tor browser), chips illegally integrated into POS machines, phishing scams, or be given by people who have access to your card.
In case your small business uses a POS machine for card payment and issuing receipts, checking for loose parts or ripped out wires can help you protect your customers from identity theft.
Phishing scams ordinarily involve calling the identity theft victim and asking for the credit card information. The reason the scams work is that criminals usually impersonate official authorities or those working for any of the victim’s trusted organizations, such as a bank.
People working in restaurants or even banks can potentially give out your credit card information and sell it for profit.
Protecting Your Credit Card
Preventing identity theft by anticipating it might occur is a good way to start securing the company’s funds.
For instance, being familiar with your bank’s policy in case of identity theft and stolen funds can go a long way. Check your bank balance regularly so that you can report any suspicious activity in time. You can also set up automated message alerts for any larger withdrawals as well.
Educating employees regarding security practices is crucial. For point-of-sale businesses, it’s important to ensure your employees check POS machines and not leave them unattended during working hours.
Also, making sure they aren’t connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots while being on the company’s network and warning them from opening suspicious emails can prevent many cyber-attacks as well.
Bots operating on a large number of e-commerce sites will try and purchase something, simultaneously guessing your credit card information. Therefore, that is the kind of activity that has to be monitored if a business wants to avoid an attack.
Having the tools that register suspicious bots and multiple orders of small quantities and requiring CVV info from your customers can take security to the next level.
Why is Card Cracking Detrimental for Small Business?
Small businesses tend to overlook the dangers of crimes such as credit card identity theft. That is mostly because they assume criminals won’t be interested in their smaller-scale companies.
In reality, insufficiently protected companies are more likely to be a target since it’s much easier to obtain their sensitive information.
Credit card fraud can financially damage small businesses that have fewer funds to work with and thus cannot financially recover.
The reputation of your small business can be affected if your customers experience card cracking. Research shows that 49% of customers do not go back to the retailer in case of credit card fraud.
Your business can easily be a target of identity theft, which utilizes credit card cracking technology. Such attacks can damage your reputation as well as finances, and most small businesses aren’t ready for them, nor do they ever recover.
Depending on the type of your business, it’s crucial to implement proper security measures that can prevent both your clients and your business from being a victim of stolen credit cards.