Carrying cash for making payments is often inconvenient, since most people only carry a limited amount of cash with them. So increasingly people are using credit cards and debit cards for making payment for their purchases or withdrawing cash. In particular credit cards are becoming very popular since the user does not have to pay the amount immediately, he can often pay it a month later.
However, there are some risks involved in using a credit card, it can be cloned, and misused by a cybercriminal or fraudster and the real user will have to pay the amount due. Hence a credit card user should be careful while using his credit card to reduce fraud. The most dangerous places to swipe your credit card are discussed.
The credit card fraudsters are usually using a device called a skimmer to steal data from the credit cards magnetic stripe or chip, which they then use to clone the card. Though most places which accept credit card payment claim that they take suitable precautions to ensure that there are no skimmers installed, it is often not possible to monitor the place all the time, especially at night.
Automated teller machines (ATM) have a large number of users, who access them anytime of the day. Often fraudsters are taking advantage of the lax security at the ATM to install skimmers, so it is dangerous to use the credit card at the ATM.
Similarly gas pumps are open all the time, even on holidays, and late at night. Fraudsters may install the skimmers themselves or bribe the staff at the gas pump to do so, so users should be very careful while using their credit card at the gas pumps.
Flea markets and small trade fairs, often have small business owners, and little information is available about the businesses selling their products there. It is possible that the card swiping machine is hacked to steal credit card information.