This Is How Con Artists Use Expired Credit Card Numbers

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As if there’s not enough to worry about in this world, you now need to take extra steps to protect your old credit card numbers.

Lifehacker recently reported a new scam that seems to make little sense…until you dig for more details, that is. They interviewed a man named Chris, who spoke up about his experience with the scam.

Hackers are starting to try to get ahold of credit card numbers you’ve stored in your online accounts. They can then test these numbers by ordering random items that’ll show up at your doorstep. Since Amazon and other online retailers usually plop packages at a person’s house without requiring a signature, scammers can monitor addresses and pick up the purchased items before victims know what is happening.

And the arrival of the item proves that the card can be used.

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According to the article,

“Chris’s experience appears to be a more nefarious version of what’s called brushing. That’s where third-party Amazon sellers trying to boost their ratings ship their product to random people.”

So how exactly did someone get access to Chris’ old credit card numbers? Per Lifehacker,

“[C]redit cards like to play nice with their retail customers. If a merchant (like Amazon, for instance) has an arrangement with a card issuer (like American Express) and agrees to take on the risk, ‘they can have a green light to run cards that are no longer technically considered valid.'”

Photo Credit: Pexels

Yikes! Even worse, people who engage in fraud usually know which types of companies are willing to risk making a few customers angry, and which ones are more cautious.

If you’re worried, there are steps you can take to stay safe. First, use only one credit card to buy stuff online. It’ll be easier to monitor your activity this way. Also, some credit card companies offer a service that creates a “virtual” credit card that only works for a limited time, which can be a great way to safeguard your online purchasing activity.

Talk to your credit card company if you suspect something is wrong, and maybe get a camera for your front door. That way you can see whether or not mysterious packages are coming your way, and if they’re being stolen off your porch.

Whew! What do you think of this new scam? Feel free to express your opinion below.