One of my former coworkers wrote up a really good description of how credit card fraud happens. I recommend reading the entire thing if you want to learn about the details, but you definitely want to pay attention to Grayson’s advice for consumers.
- “If you have the option, choose businesses that use chip readers instead of magnetic swipers. (In Europe, Australia and many other places around the world, these are standard.) While these devices are not hack proof, they are typically equipped with point-to-point hardware encryption.
- If you are somewhere “sketchy” with old-looking POS systems, pay with cash or a check instead.
- If you travel and count on those credit cards to get home, carry a spare! Having your card shut down abroad is no fun—I carry three cards, just to be safe.
- Use a credit card instead of your debit card—Chris mentioned this as well in part 1. You’ll almost always get the fraudulent charges back from your bank, but it may take two days or longer if it has come out of your personal funds. You don’t want to miss a car payment because JimBob’s Greaseburger got your card stolen.”