Ho, Ho, Ho: Credit Card Fraud Not A Holiday Killer. Unless You Get Hit.

Ho, Ho, Ho: Credit Card Fraud Not A Holiday Killer. Unless You Get Hit.

Summary: A recession is when your neighbor gets laid off. A depression is when you get terminated.

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TOPICS: Banking
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A recession is when your neighbor gets laid off. A depression is when you get terminated. With credit cards, fraud is not a big deal. Unless it's your number that's for sale, online.

A Symantec report says the underground economy is booming. The total value of goods and services was "more than" $276 million. The most popular stuff: Bank account credentials and credit cards that have CVV2 security codes with them.

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But bank account credentials can be had for as little as $10. Credit cards with security codes? As little as 10 cents, up to $25 each.

What does the thief get?

Symantec figures the average balance per credit card at $4,000, yielding a potential spend of $5.3 billion. Average bank account? $40,000, yielding a potential spend of $1.7 billion.

All told, about $7 billion of money to spend. If you're willing to go underground and get it.

That's not chump change -- if the sellers can get buyers to cough up the $276 million to buy $7 billion of purchasing "power."

But it's not a holiday killer. Online merchants are likely to pull in $32 billion of sales this Christmas, Hannukah and general gift-giving season, according to eMarketer. And Nielsen, at least as of October 9, was still predicting in-store sales this holiday season to rise 4.7% to $98 billion. Unit sales may be flat, but dollar sales will be up, the research firm said.

So even if every one of the 1.3 million credit cards and 42,500 bank accounts at risk, by interpolating Symantec's numbers, are purchased and exploited to the full, that would only pump up the holiday season another 5%.

Until the sales got reversed by complaining card and account holders and start to wipe out merchants' earnings.

Topic: Banking

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8 comments
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  • Use debit checking mode

    Instead of checks use debit in the store.I withdraw the money that I need for the day from the machine and pay with cash.I first get a receipt showing my balance then I withdraw to be safe.
    BALTHOR
  • RE: Ho, Ho, Ho: Credit Card Fraud Not A Holiday Killer. Unless You Get Hit.

    Not getting mine. Already spent and gifts already wrapped and ready... months ago. All I have to do now is sit back and watch the snow fly...
    jskline0@...
  • RE: Ho, Ho, Ho: Credit Card Fraud Not A Holiday Killer. Unless You Get Hit.

    "if the sellers can get buyers to cough up the $276 million to buy $7 billion"

    The $7B is clear, but where does the $276M come from?
    1.3M cards, even at $25 each is only $33M, and the bank creds total less than half a $million at the quoted $10.
    dbell5
  • RE: $98 billion? And sales up by 4.7?

    Psrt of this article exposed trends I knew to be taking place, like the dollar value of sales going up while unit sales are down. The dark secret is that better-off people are buying more and more-expensive items while middle-class and poor people are buying less of everything. The sales figures continue to go up, so who's complaining?

    But to slap a projected $98 billion onto our collective debt, an increase of 4.7%, that nearly equals what could possibly be stolen? That's just nuts. We're damaging ourselves far worse than any crook or criminal organization could hope to do. We're our own worst enemies. With people like us, who needs crooks?

    Now I'm going to be on the lookout for panic maxing-out of credit cards. If people feel credit is about to be wiped out, or at least their own accounts are going to be wiped out, why shouldn't they empty them and get something durable? After all, if they're going to be broke anyway, why not use up all lines of credit now, and let the banks worry about collecting, assuming the bank is still in business at the end of January?

    Something to ponder. Something to watch out for.
    progan01@...
    • Our own worst enemies?

      Well some of us plan to have paid off our holiday spending early in the new year, and not from a tax return. It's only a problem if you have no plan on how to do so.
      trybble1
  • follow the money and bust the sellers

    Why don't the credit card companies send hit squads around the world and "eliminate" the sellers?

    After all, with all their computer processing power how hard would it be to trace the money back to the sellers?

    A few bodies hanging from bridges and this crap will stop.
    AtlantaTerry
  • RE: Ho, Ho, Ho: Credit Card Fraud Not A Holiday Killer. Unless You Get Hit.

    I am so sick of people, that rather steal and kill, to make a living. Instead of working for what they want. A lot of these crimes can be prevented, if parents stopped treated their kids like little angels. And start treating their back-sides, with a belt, when they are disobedient.Parents will either teach their kids, right or wrong, while they are young. Or they can plan on visiting them, when they are in prison, or on death row. The very least parents can do, is send the knuckle heads to Sunday school.I was trying to figure out the difference between a dog and a criminal. The dog is smarter.
    blackjack861@...
  • cant we use prepaid cards?

    Here in London, I was looking into option of prepaid credit cards for my visit overseas. However I was surprised to see a long trail of charges for all kinds of transactions, monthly standing charge and top up charges. This is when I am paying upfront for something which I will spend later, no risk to credit card company at all!

    When I use usual credit card, credit card company happily gives me credit free period and does all transactions free of charge.

    They make % of each transaction from all sellers as usual anyways.

    It looks like, credit card companies want to avoid prepaid cards themselves; why?
    p.vinnie@...