All the pundits kept saying Hillary’s campaign would be boring because all of her bad laundry had already been aired out in public, but they didn’t count on the scandal that keeps on giving – her private email server insanity. And Judge Jeanine took it all in, mixed it up with her special brand of snark and legal analysis, and regurgitated it onto your monitor!!
Gone are the days of the good old-fashioned purse snatcher. With little brute and more skill, thieves only need a minute, sometimes a second, to pilfer your credit card data. “Back in the beginning, they got the imprint of credit cards from the carbon copies they dug out of the trash,” says William Noonan, assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s criminal investigative division. “Technology has changed things.” The number of compromised records has been on the decline the last two years, according to the Secret Service, after reaching a record high of 361 million records in 2008. The trend might reverse this year, however, after a recent string of mishaps. This spring criminals hacked, phished or skimmed their way into the systems of Michaels Stores, Sony, marketing firm Epsilon, Citibank and even security expert RSA, among others. In some cases, they only obtained names and emails. In the worst cases, they got credit card numbers.
The schemes are simpler than you think. Bankrate presents the most common ways thieves pilfer your credit card information.
1: Suspect: the waitress at the diner
The waitress whisks away your credit card and swipes it through the restaurant’s register. Then, she pulls out a small device, about the size of an ice cube, from her apron and swipes it through that, says Sergeant David Schultz of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. While you’re scraping the last of the chocolate frosting from your plate, your credit card information has been stored in the device, known as a skimmer. The waitress returns your card and performs the same magic trick on dozens of credit cards in a week. The data-stealing waitress has been known to moonlight as a bartender, sales clerk or at any place where she can take your credit card out of sight.
2: Suspect: the toy store trio
Sally, Simon and Bud walk into a toy store. Sally and Simon roam the aisles, while Bud waits in line to check out. When Bud is at the register, Simon comes running up to the clerk, screaming that his wife has fainted. As Sally and Simon distract the sales clerk, Bud switches the credit card reader at the register with a modified one of his own, says FICO’s Fraud Chief Mike Urban. For the next week, the sales clerk unwittingly collects credit card data on the modified reader until the trio returns, takes back the modified reader and restores the original terminal. The trio will hit other retailers and restaurants, but sometimes the threesome will instead be a duo or a solo criminal.
3: Suspect: the Gas Lass
The Gas Lass parks her car in front of a gasoline station off the turnpike. It’s late. There’s no one around except a sleepy attendant at the register inside. The Gas Lass attaches a skimmer over the credit card reader at the pump. It’s a special skimmer: It emits a Bluetooth signal to a laptop close by, says Noonan. The Gas Lass pays, heads off to the motel next door and sets up her laptop to receive the data from the compromised pump over the next several days. The Gas Lass installs skimmers over ATMs, parking meters, vending machines and any other places with unmanned credit card readers.
4: Suspects: Harry the Hacker and Phishing Phil
Harry the Hacker installs malware — a type of software that damages or infiltrates a computer or network — onto a legitimate website with low security. The malware instantly downloads onto your computer when you visit the site and allows Harry to access your information. In another scenario, Harry puts malware on public computers and gathers the information you share with that computer, says Urban. Harry also infiltrates the computer system of banks, retailers and other businesses and extracts personal account information, Noonan says.
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Some Easy Hosted Storefronts and Shopping Carts
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Hosted storefronts are an easy way to set-up your own Web store and a good option for small or individual sellers who aren’t quite ready to invest in a large ecommerce website. Storefronts — a managed service — make it easy to create and manage a store because you don’t need any HTML or programming skills, and you can customize the storefronts to suite your business needs.
1. BigCommerce. A storefront solution that lets you create your own Web shop — plus you can sell on Facebook and eBay with BigCommerce. Extra features include multi-channel retailing, mobile commerce, SEO and easy upselling.
2. E-Junkie. A shopping cart and digital delivery system for publishers who want to include buy-now buttons to sell digital goods. You store the files on E-Junkie’s servers, and buyers receive an email with instructions to download the product after making a purchase.
3. GoEmerchant. Use it to build an ecommerce store, or you can purchase the Buy-Me Button plan to add payment options to an existing website.
4. Mercantec E-Commerce Express. An entry-level storefront and shopping-cart service that lets you sell in a number of places including your own site and on eBay.
5. Miva Merchant offers full ecommerce hosting and just about everything you need to start an online store – all in one package. You can upgrade accounts as your business grows.
6. Payvment. This Facebook-wide shopping cart system offers an admin area built directly into Facebook to manage your storefront, inventory and sales. You can customize the Facebook Shopping Tab for your Facebook Business Page.
7. ProStores. An online ecommerce platform that lets you design a storefront that fully integrates with eBay.
8. Shopify. This hosted service lets sellers accept credit card payments, use their own domain and customize their store design. It also features built-in analytics that helps sellers track progress.
9. TabJuice. A social commerce platform that you can use to bring products to Facebook. This storefront application adds a customizable shopping tab to your Facebook Business Page.
10. Volusion. An all-in-one ecommerce solution that lets you design and manage your online storefront; plus it provides tools for marketing, merchandising and CRM.
Online Sales Will Dominate
Statistic Brain’s compilation of data from the U.S. Commerce Department, Internet Retail, ComScore, Inc. and Forrester Research revealed that 87 percent of online users have made purchases online, which could explain projected figures that have U.S. online purchases moving from nearly $350 billion in 2015 to $440 billion by 2017.
Of these figures, estimates also include figures for online purchases made through mobile devices, projecting $76 billion in 2015 up to $114.5 billion by 2017. Internet Retailer reported that Web sales will garner 7.3 percent of all global retail sales this year and will rise to 12.4 percent by 2019, according to eMarketer.
I think we all assume the companies that issue credit cards will do everything possible to prevent and detect the fraudulent use of that card. But according to a recent report from Javelin Strategy & Research, that’s not always the case.
They looked at policies and procedures at 24 of the country’s top credit card issuers and found that financial institutions do a much better job than retailers when it comes to credit card security.
Javelin named Bank of America “best in class” for the seventh consecutive year with an overall score of 70 percent, significantly higher than the average score of 55 percent.
Clearly, it’s better for the bank and the customer to stop fraud, rather than deal with it afterward. USAA earned the top score for preventing fraud. Bank of America was a close second in the prevention category, followed by Citi.
Javelin named Wells Fargo best at detecting fraud.