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Credit card fraud compounded by rise of ecommerce

Feb 11, 2013 Walt Wojciechowski

Credit cards and electronic payment methods have made life easier for consumers, but they have also opened new doors for hackers. 

"We've had three cards compromised and one of our bank accounts compromised so far," Charles Woynarski, a Gold Canyon, Arizona, native, recently told KPHO.

According to the news source, there have been more than 150 reports of credit and debit card fraud in the Pinal County region between January 18 and January 29 alone. Woynarski said that at least five of his neighbors have fallen victim to fraudulent incidents. 

The problem has become even more complicated because of the rise of ecommerce, according to a recent report by KWTX.

"There are literally going to be millions of people who will get ripped off because of this," consumer advocate Walt Augustinowicz told the news source.

Many mobile device owners download third-party applications, which are more susceptible to malware. Augustinowicz told the news source that some of these malicious programs allow cybercriminals to scan information - including credit card numbers and PINs - directly off a person's smartphone or tablet.

M.R. Colyer, who works for the Criminal Investigation Division at the McLennan County Sheriff's Office, told the source that hackers were able to steal $26,000 from one victim alone before he or she realized what had happened.