Credit Card Data Breach: What It Is & Ways To Prevent It | Chase (2024)

A credit card data breach occurs when personal credit card data is exposed to an unauthorized individual. The data may include the card owner's name and address, the card number, expiration date, and verification code (CVV). Breaches can occur accidentally, or thieves may intentionally steal credit card information to commit identity theft, make potential unauthorized purchases or open a new line of credit in someone else's name.

Having your data compromised in a breach may be nerve-wracking but knowing what to do if you find yourself in this situation could help minimize damage to a minimum.

How does a data breach work?

Credit card data breaches involve the exposure of confidential data, but they can happen in any number of different ways.

In some cases, a data breach may be entirely accidental. A company's data protection measures could fail, exposing users' credit card information to the public (including potential criminals who want to take advantage of it).

Hackers and identity thieves use unscrupulous methods to access private information as well. In small-scale data breaches, they may get access to someone's physical credit card and use it to make purchases. Alternatively, they may use a credit card skimmer — a piece of technology that can record credit card information when people swipe their cards at a machine — to capture credit card details.

Large-scale credit card breaches happen when criminals use nefarious tactics like phishing, SQL injections (installing malicious code on a web app), or fake web applications/text messages to obtain credit card information. These tactics give criminals access to their target's websites or applications, potentially allowing them to access a lot of information all at once.

What happens during a data breach?

Depending on the situation, the user may be the first to realize something is wrong after spotting unfamiliar purchases on their credit card statement, in which case they should immediately contact their credit card issuer.

Credit card companies also have a number of security measures in place to help monitor for suspicious activity and credit card theft. Fraud monitoring allows credit card companies to watch for suspicious transactions and may reach out to customers for verification.

In large-scale credit card data breaches, companies are required to inform customers that their information was compromised. In such situations, they will typically provide further context around what caused the breach and what information was accessed, and they'll advise customers about what actions they should take. This may include reviewing statements for unauthorized purchases or changing compromised passwords.

Ways to prevent a credit card data breach

You can never be too careful with your credit card information. There are several actions you may consider taking to reduce the chances of having your information compromised in a breach — or used fraudulently in the event it is.

Secure and update passwords

One way criminals gain access to your credit card information is through a weak password. Using the same password for many different sites and services puts you at risk, as do simple passwords that are easy to guess, like “password123" or your pet's name.

Consider using unique and secure passwords for every site you use and updating your passwords frequently.

Use two-factor authentication logins

Many online companies allow you to set up two-factor authentication. For example, a company may send you a code via a text message when you are trying to log in or ask you to verify a security question alongside your password to gain access.

This extra layer of protection may help prevent credit card breaches in the future.

Freezing your credit

If you lose a credit card at any point, the credit card issuer can freeze the account. This will help prevent anyone who may have stolen your card from using it to make unauthorized purchases.

Disposing of unused credit cards and personal information

If a credit card expires or you've stopped using it altogether, destroy the physical card before disposing of it. You can do this by cutting it up into small pieces and putting them in the waste bin.

If you have a piece of mail or a printout with your Social Security number, credit card information, or any other identifying factors, a shredder may come in handy to help destroy any personal documents before anyone can find them and use them for future unauthorized purchases.

Know the signs of a scam

Criminals attempt to steal your information in a variety of ways, so knowing the warning signs is a good way to protect yourself. Never click on a link sent to you via email or text message unless you know who sent it, and you know the person or company that sent it did so intentionally.

Remember, if someone else has fallen victim to identity theft, criminals may use their identity to gain your trust and get your information as well. So, if someone you know sends you a random message on social media or via text asking you to click a link, you may want to refrain from clicking until you've verified that the person sending you the link is who you think it is.

Ask your credit card provider about security measures

Your credit card company most likely has methods in place to protect your information, but there may be additional security measures they offer that you may not be using. You can find out more by visiting their website or calling their customer service line and asking about what you can do to further protect your credit card information.

Take it seriously

If you have been informed that your credit card information has been compromised, you may want to review your credit card statements for unfamiliar purchases. You may also want to change the passwords on any accounts associated with the breach (even if you don't see anything strange on your statements).

In summary

Getting caught up in a data breach can be frustrating to say the least, but there are things that might help prevent this situation. When you know the warning signs and if you suspect your credit card data has been breached, there are steps you can take to help protect your personal information and your money.

Credit Card Data Breach: What It Is & Ways To Prevent It | Chase (2024)


Credit Card Data Breach: What It Is & Ways To Prevent It | Chase? ›

Organizations and employees must implement and follow best practices that support a data breach prevention strategy. These include: Use strong passwords: The most common cause of data breaches continues to be weak passwords, which enable attackers to steal user credentials and give them access to corporate networks.

How do I stop my credit card from being compromised? ›

Five strategies to help prevent credit card fraud
  1. Monitor your accounts. What's the best way to help detect credit card fraud? ...
  2. Sign up for fraud alerts when possible. ...
  3. Watch out for phishing and smishing scams. ...
  4. Avoid using unsecured websites. ...
  5. Regularly check your credit reports.

What is data breach and how can it be prevented? ›

Organizations and employees must implement and follow best practices that support a data breach prevention strategy. These include: Use strong passwords: The most common cause of data breaches continues to be weak passwords, which enable attackers to steal user credentials and give them access to corporate networks.

What is a credit card data breach? ›

A credit card data breach occurs when personal credit card data is exposed to an unauthorized individual. The data may include the card owner's name and address, the card number, expiration date, and verification code (CVV).

How come my credit card keeps getting hacked? ›

Credit card numbers can be stolen without your knowledge. Until you spot a fraudulent charge on your monthly statement, you may have no idea your information has been stolen. Credit cards can be stolen in a variety of ways: Through theft of a physical card, via data breaches, by card skimmers—the list goes on.

How do I protect my credit card from being scanned? ›

Use an RFID shield wallet or protective sleeve, wrap it in foil, or store your card next to an RFID jamming card to protect its signal. Distance yourself from other customers when using your card. For maximum security, only use it for at-home, online purchases.

Can the bank find out who used my credit card? ›

Yes. Tracking who used a credit card is often possible, especially if the fraud involved physical transactions at identifiable locations or digital transactions with traceable IP addresses and device information.

What is the most common method of data breach? ›

The 8 Most Common Causes of Data Breaches
  • Weak and stolen credentials.
  • Backdoor and application vulnerabilities.
  • Malware.
  • Social engineering.
  • Too many permissions.
  • Ransomware.
  • Improper configuration and exposure via APIs.
  • DNS attacks.
Apr 19, 2024

How do I protect myself from data breaches? ›

How to prevent a data breach
  1. Create complex passwords. ...
  2. Use multi-factor authentication when available. ...
  3. Shop with a credit card. ...
  4. Watch for fraud. ...
  5. Guard against identity theft. ...
  6. Set up account alerts. ...
  7. Update software.

Should I be worried about a data breach? ›

You should immediately take action to secure your data. Data breach is serious and can affect you in many ways. Change any exposed passwords. If your password is subject to a breach, then you should update your login credentials.

What is the most common way credit card data is stolen? ›

Remember: the most common type of individual card theft is through phishing. If a scammer has access to other personal information, it can lead to many other kinds of identity theft.

How do I know if I have been data breached? ›

Check for suspicious logins into your accounts and activate notifications for them if the service you use provides them. Be on the lookout for misleading password retrieval emails and messages and only change your credentials by logging into the account from the official website.

What is the first thing you do when you get hacked? ›

Instead, report it immediately. If it is a personal system or account that has been hacked, here are some steps you can take: Recovering Your Online Accounts: If you still have access to your account, log in from a trusted computer and reset your password with a new, unique and strong password — the longer the better.

How did someone use my credit card without having it? ›

These details can be stolen electronically without obtaining the physical card. The theft of credit card data for use in card-not-present fraud most commonly occurs through online phishing or through theft of a customer's credit card information by dishonest employees.

How to avoid having your credit card hacked? ›

How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud
  1. Keep Your Credit Card Information Secure. One of the most important ways to prevent credit card fraud is to keep your information safe. ...
  2. Monitor Your Credit Regularly. ...
  3. Use Secure Websites for Online Purchases. ...
  4. Be Aware of Phishing and Skimming Scams. ...
  5. Use Additional Security Measures.
Jun 25, 2024

How to protect your credit card in your wallet? ›

Preventing Credit Card Scanning
  1. Buy a card sleeve or RFID wallet that blocks RFID transmissions.
  2. Stack your cards together to mitigate some of the scanner's ability to read information.
  3. Leave your cards at home and only use cash in public places.

How can I stop someone from using my credit card? ›

Explain to the credit card issuer that someone opened an account in your name and that they are trying to steal your identity. Ask your issuer to freeze your account. You'll want to confirm with your issuer that there's no way for anyone to charge new purchases to the account.

How does my credit card get compromised? ›

A person might steal your credit card information by: looking for bank statements or information in your trash or mailbox hacking into computers of companies and stealing credit card information, such as your Internet service company or your gym.

Can I block my credit card? ›

Mobile App – Almost all banks have a mobile application through which you can manage your account. You can use the app to block your credit card. The process is usually similar to net banking. Visit the Branch – You have the option to visit the bank's branch and file a written request to block your credit card.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Neely Ledner

Last Updated:

Views: 5767

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Neely Ledner

Birthday: 1998-06-09

Address: 443 Barrows Terrace, New Jodyberg, CO 57462-5329

Phone: +2433516856029

Job: Central Legal Facilitator

Hobby: Backpacking, Jogging, Magic, Driving, Macrame, Embroidery, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Neely Ledner, I am a bright, determined, beautiful, adventurous, adventurous, spotless, calm person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.