Credit Card Forgers Going On One Last Crime Spree While Magnetic Stripe Readers Are Still Prevalent

Image courtesy of Ciaran McGuiggan

America has long served as a haven for credit card crooks because it’s only recently that we’ve switched to credit and debit cards that use smart chips (EMV). However, criminals are taking advantage of retailers’ delay in installing card readers that use the technology, and holding sort of a fire sale on stolen credit card numbers.

Thieves can use stolen card data in a variety of ways, but Bloomberg Technology reports that one common method has been to take the numbers from stolen cards, create duplicate cards with those numbers, and use them at retailers.

This is the type of fraud that has been popular for decades in the United States thanks to our magnetic stripe card readers. While magnetic stripe cards remain an option, experts say that criminals are using up their stash of numbers and blank magnetic stripe cards.

Due to delays in merchants getting their EMV payment equipment installed and certified, some retailers are dealing with a burdensome number of fraud chargebacks.

Fraud has become such an issue that Visa announced yesterday that it would change policies to either block chargebacks for counterfeit cards, and will require banks to be liable for all fraud-related chargebacks on cards after that.

Mastercard, meanwhile, is speeding up its certification of merchants’ card-readers, hoping to get more transactions to go through using chips and fewer using magnetic strips.

Last Call for Old School Credit Card Fraud in the U.S. [Bloomberg Technology]

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