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Your credit card is the key to your financial life, giving you access to funds and the ability to make purchases large and small. But in today's digital world, that powerful plastic card is also a prime target for sophisticated hackers and scammers. Every year, countless people fall victim to credit card hacks, losing their credit card information and identities stolen through a wide range of clever criminal tactics. From skimming devices to complex phishing schemes, the threat of credit card hacking is an ever-present risk.

Understanding the most common credit card hack techniques hackers use to obtain your credit card details is the first step in arming yourself against these scams and protecting your financial security. In this article, we'll take a peek behind the curtain into the shady world of credit card fraud as we expose the top 15 hacking methods hackers use to steal your credit card information.

15 Credit Card Hack Methods You Can be a Victim of

Credit card hack scams are one of the most common scam methods in the modern world. It’s so common that thousands of Americans are affected by it every year. With the number increasing every year, it’s no surprise that you might become one of the victims as well.

Today, we’ll be discussing the top [methods] for a credit card hack that attackers use frequently and how to keep yourself safe from all of them.

To shortlist, here are 15 of the most common credit card hack methods cybercriminals use to steal your credit card information:

  • Physically Stolen Cards
  • Dumpster Diving Method
  • Friendly Fraud
  • Card Skimmers
  • Stealing Credentials From Public Networks
  • RFID Collection
  • Phishing
  • Installing Malware On Personal Devices
  • Scam Phone Calls
  • Shoulder Surfing
  • Formjacking On Trustworthy Websites
  • Account Takeover
  • Data Breach
  • Hacked Online Payment Systems
  • Social Engineering Methods

Let's dive right into them!

Method #1: Physically Stolen Cards

If you lose or misplace your credit card, there’s a certain chance that someone will pick it up and try to access your account. Since the card is already in their hands, it saves the culprit a lot of time that would be used to try and find the account number.

Method #2: Dumpster Diving Method

The dumpster diving method is where a hacker takes advantage of old data regarding an account to access it. The pieces of information that can be gathered through dumpster diving include:

  • A pre-approved card that has been discarded
  • A card document that hasn’t been shredded
  • A replacement card that has been thrown away by mistake or misplaced
Method #3: Friendly Fraud

Though it may sound surprising, family members are often the perpetrators behind credit card hacks. They might find your card or the information regarding your account and then spend as much as they want without asking for your permission first.

Method #4: Card Skimmers

Card skimmers are small machines that are installed in ATM booths, gas pumps, or other public card-reading machines. A card skimming device collects the magnetic strip data from a card that has been swiped onto the machine.

A card shimmer is a different version of a basic card shimmer. Instead of reading the magnetic strip information, a card shimmer enters the card and steals the chip data.

Method #5: Stealing Credentials From Public Networks

Many people log into their banking accounts using public WiFi access points without any prior concern. This makes it all the easier for hackers to steal their banking information.

Public networks have next to zero restrictions on devices. As a result, anyone can snoop into the network and steal information or spy on someone to collect data.

Method #6: RFID Collection

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a method used for contactless payment. Since it’s a radio frequency, anyone can scrape your credit card information if they’re standing close enough to you, equipped with specific devices.

Though there are not many reports of this method being used, RFID is on the rise, and so are the risks.

Method #7: Phishing

Phishing, the age-old technique to gather information from an unsuspecting individual, is one of the main reasons many get their credit cards hacked.

In this case, the fraudulent person will usually impersonate someone who is familiar with the credit card holder and then continuously trick the person into giving up their credit card credentials.

The attack succeeds the moment the credentials are extracted from the target.

Method #8: Installing Malware On Personal Devices

Many attackers try to find an opportunity to install malware on an unsuspecting device user. This usually happens when someone leaves their device unattended without any kind of security lock in place.

Once the device gets infected, the malware in there starts to transmit all sorts of personal data from the victim’s device to the hacker, leading to all sorts of data transfers, including credit card credentials.

Method #9: Scam Phone Calls

There are times when a hacker will impersonate an employee of a certain bank and call their customers to scare them into paying extra money for a service or the extension of their credit card validity.

Though these cases are commonplace and most people see through the trick right away, there have been multiple instances where older people have lost all their bank balances to scammers like these.

Method #10: Shoulder Surfing

This technique is more physical and old-fashioned. When you’re entering credit card data, there are times when someone can simply look over your shoulder in case your fingers and the input device aren’t covered and simply remember the information for later use.

Another method is information copywriting. This method can be used by someone who’s trying to share their credit card information with someone else over the phone. Anyone can just listen to the data being said by the cardholder and then write it down on a piece of paper.

Method #11: Formjacking On Trustworthy Websites

Formjacking is when the hacker creates a fake form that, when filled in by a person, transfers the sensitive data right to the hacker. The main targets of form-jacking are online portal websites that have space for financial data input, like credit card information or addresses for delivery.

Formjacking was and still is a notorious issue. According to this statistic, there are 500,000 formjacking attempts taking place per month on average.

Method #12: Account Takeover By Identity Theft

There are hackers who are constantly on the internet collecting personal and social information about a person to commit identity theft. Once a person’s identity is stolen, they can access the person’s credit card details, along with other valuable information.

Identity theft is a serious violation on its own. When someone has their finances completely ripped off of them as well, then the case becomes even more severe.

Method #13: Data Breach

If the data servers of an organization are breached, all the sensitive data present within the servers gets into the wrong hands of the perpetrators, who then use the information they obtain for nefarious purposes.

Bank or data center storage gets hit the hardest in the event of a data breach scenario.

Method #14: Hacked Online Payment Systems

Hackers can go as far as hacking online payment methods so that all the money present will only go to the hacker instead of whoever was the actual recipient.

Another way hackers go about it is to try and access saved card data online payment portals keep. Instead of going after a certain victim, the hacker chooses to go after the database of card information instead, which can harm multiple people.

Method #15: Social Engineering Methods

Social engineering has to be the most effective method of stealing any sort of information. So it is a given that hackers can and will use social engineering hack techniques to gain credit card information, one way or another.

Social engineering methods can be a mix of many things. It can be a friendly manipulation, a threat, or an artificial scenario created by the hacker to make someone expose their credentials.

How To Tell if Your Card Numbers Have Been Stolen

Check Every Notification From Your Card

Even if you see a transaction that is as small as $0.01, you should do a thorough check right away.

Sometimes, hackers test a credit card to see if it can be exploited further by extracting a really small amount.

If even the smallest amount was taken out of the account without your knowledge, there’s a chance that your card number has leaked and is being tested for further exploit attacks.

Regularly Check Credit Reports

To check your credit report, there are sites like AnnualCreditReport.com that can help you. Your credit report will contain details of all credits that are associated with your identity.

To detect suspicious activity, look out for accounts that you didn’t create, or match statements with the credit report to see if there are any mismatches.

You can also look out for inquiries that you don’t remember making for your account, as hackers sometimes make random inquiries to find critical information regarding the card they’re trying to exploit.


Consider a Credit Monitoring Service

Your credit card provider may have an alert system set to your card that’ll inform you about transactions that they think were suspicious or unauthorized.

The problem with these integrated monitoring systems is that the alerts sometimes don’t come in until it’s too late, and the damage has already been done.

You can assign credit monitoring services to your credit card account to track your bank account and credit transaction information in real-time.

Take Note Of All Calls From Creditors

Sometimes you’ll get calls from creditors about transactions you didn’t make. If fraudulent purchases go to collections, there’s a high chance that your credit card has been compromised, and you’ll have to pay for the damages since the hackers don’t care about paying your loans back.

Inquire About Unexpected Packages

If a scammer isn’t paying attention to details, sometimes they will forget to change the shipping address when ordering something for themselves using your card.

If such a package arrives at your doorstep, this is a sign that your credit card is being used without your consent. Sometimes hackers even order packages to the address of the original owner to make it less suspicious, and then steal the package from there.

Whenever you receive such a package, check your credit statement right away.

Finding A Lower Balance Than You Expected

If you’re finding a balance that’s lower than you expected, it’s an obvious sign that someone’s using your credit without your knowledge. Hackers can burn through your money really quickly, as they don’t care.

If you have a suspicion that your credit card should have had more credit in it, go and check your statement right away.

Watch Out for Identity Theft

If you experience identity theft, chances are the thief will impersonate you and exploit all of your online activity, including making unauthorized transactions with your credit card.

Always be vigilant, and look for subtle signs like unwanted logging attempts from an unknown device, sudden drop in your credit score, etc.

Wrapping It All Up

A credit card hack is a great way for an unethical hacker to gain some quick money. As a result, they are constantly preying on unsuspecting civilians. Your vigilance, personal knowledge, and safety precautions can be your savior against successful credit card hack attempts.


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