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What You Should Know About Account Takeover Fraud

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As credit cards become more secure and consumers become more savvy about protecting their financial accounts, there’s another type of account that we should be on guard for - account takeover fraud. Criminals can do just as much damage by taking over your accounts as they could by having direct access to your credit card or bank account.

What is Account Takeover Fraud?

Account takeover fraud is a type of theft where a criminal gains access to your accounts then makes charges to your account. For example, they may make charges in the app store, add themselves as a user on your account, change your login details, or change email, mailing address or phone number on your account.

There’s almost no account that’s safe from account takeover fraud. Hackers may try to gain access to your cell phone, your subscriptions, store loyalty accounts, or any other accounts where you’ve stored your payment information.

How Thieves Gain Access to Accounts

Because passwords can be difficult to keep up with, many consumers tend to make their passwords the same between accounts. This can make it easier for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts. People may also use weaker passwords on non-financial accounts, thinking these accounts aren’t at risk for an attack. Once a hacker gains access to the login information for one account, they’re likely to retry the same credentials on other accounts to see if they work.

Hacking into a non-financial account can be a way for hackers to get access to actual financial accounts. For example, a criminals may hijack your email account, then gain access to your credit card or bank accounts.

Criminals can get access to your accounts by phishing for your login information. Phishing happens when criminals pose as legitimate businesses and trick you into giving up your personal information. For example, they may send a link in your email posing as your credit card issuer warning you about credit card fraud. If you click on the link and enter any personal information, the criminal can capture everything you enter then use it to gain access to your account.

Using public wifi and unsecured networks, like those in hotels and airports, can also make you vulnerable to hackers. Criminals on the same network can gain access to all the information you send. Even the most secure passwords are at risk when you use public wifi. Using your own hotspot or a virtual private network is a much safer way to browse when you’re in public.

Plugging your devices into electrical outlets or USB ports in public places can also lead to you being hacked. Criminals can conceal computers behind charging ports. Once you plug your device in, the computer can steal your information or install malware onto your device.

Protecting Yourself 

Avoiding account takeover fraud can be difficult, even when you’re taking all the correct steps to keep your information safe. Monitor all your accounts often, keeping track of usage information and profiles who have accessed your accounts. Set secure passwords for all your accounts, even those you think aren’t at risk for being hacked. Then reset your passwords periodically to keep your information safe.

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Comments 1

Wanderer on Sunday, 07 April 2019 06:27

"Account Takeover" is a subject not often mentioned by most anyone related to our own financial security? It is really scary after reading this post as you may not even be aware for a period of time while you are getting taken to the cleaners! Some what taken back as to how to stop it? Staying alert and checking on all aspects of our financial life seems to be one way. Staying on top and cutting off things that are not right immediately while we try to sort out what happened. It is nice having the internet world today but, the risks have certainly multiplied. Many more lenders are equipping us with the ability to turn off our credit cards immediately is one tool, while contacting the lender to alert them to potential fraud immediately would be high on the list. If you have some methods or stories to share on how to prevent or minimize account takeover please share it, as this is one area of fraud not often talked about.

"Account Takeover" is a subject not often mentioned by most anyone related to our own financial security? It is really scary after reading this post as you may not even be aware for a period of time while you are getting taken to the cleaners! Some what taken back as to how to stop it? Staying alert and checking on all aspects of our financial life seems to be one way. Staying on top and cutting off things that are not right immediately while we try to sort out what happened. It is nice having the internet world today but, the risks have certainly multiplied. Many more lenders are equipping us with the ability to turn off our credit cards immediately is one tool, while contacting the lender to alert them to potential fraud immediately would be high on the list. If you have some methods or stories to share on how to prevent or minimize account takeover please share it, as this is one area of fraud not often talked about.
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Saturday, 20 April 2019