The act of making an unauthorized digital replica of a credit card is known as a “credit card dump.” Although this kind of crime has been around for a while, it has only recently become more well known due to the rise in credit card fraud, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime.
How Credit Card Dumps Work
A credit card spill could happen in many different ways. Skimming is a typical technique where a fraudulent card reader steals data from a credit card by placing it inside a legitimate automated teller machine (ATM) or petrol station pump. In other instances, fraudsters can steal a huge number of card numbers all at once by hacking into the computer systems of businesses that handle credit card data for customers. For instance, by infecting the point-of-sale (POS) machines of a sizable retail chain, thieves may gain access to the credit card details of thousands of retail customers.
Hackers continue to develop new strategies to take advantage of flaws in the electronic payments system in order to steal important credit card information, despite safeguards like personal identification numbers (PINs) and security chips helping to make this theft more challenging. Cybercriminals resell the credit card data on the black market to make money off of this theft. Alternately, hackers might use the data to make unlawful internet purchases with credit cards that were stolen.
Protecting Against Credit Card Dumps
In the end, consumers have few options for defending themselves from the risk of cybercrime. After all, if hackers are successful in breaching the networks of the businesses where people shop, even the most vigilant people could become the victims of credit card fraud. However, there are actions people can take to lessen some of their risks. They should avoid giving out their credit card numbers to others, keep their cards close at hand when in public, look for any odd items near POS terminals, gas pumps, and ATMs, and routinely check their credit card accounts for any unusual charges.
Examples of Credit Card Dumps
Unfortunately, there are many instances where hackers were successful in stealing a sizable amount of credit card information from unwary clients. Just a few instances are shown below:
In July 2019, Capital One—the fifth-largest credit card issuer in the country—disclosed that a hacker had obtained the personal data of over 106 million Americans and Canadian applicants. Highly personal information about consumers and small businesses, such as names, social security numbers, income levels, and dates of birth as of the time they applied for one of numerous credit card products between 2005 and early 2019, was accessed. (1)
The Capital One attack is currently the second-largest data dump of its kind in history.
Data dumps don’t just occur in the United States. For instance, in May 2019, hackers broke into the well-known Australian company Canva, compromising roughly 140 million user accounts. The hackers gained access to consumers’ payment card information in addition to personal data such names, usernames, and email addresses. 2
Another noteworthy instance happened in October 2013, when a large-scale hacker attack caused Adobe (ADBE) to lose approximately 3 million consumer credit card details. Data from more than 150 million people was also stolen as part of a bigger operation that included the breach. In the end, the business settled the dispute with its clients for about $1 million. 3