Due to recent technological advances, a consumer’s financial information faces more threats than ever from credit card thieves and high-tech hackers.
According to a recent report, the average criminal now needs only $500 to $1,000 to purchase the equipment necessary to track down information that can cause thousands in credit card debt for companies and consumers.
“The purchasing of the equipment needed is readily available and not that difficult to learn how to do,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance told the New York Daily News. “You don’t need to buy it from a black market.”
In addition, YouTube now provides aspiring criminals with easy access to instructions on how a proper forgery can be done. This includes purchasing card-making materials, magnetic strip encoders and printers, all of which can legally be obtained, the news source says.
As a result, it is more important than ever for consumers to ensure their information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This can be done by protecting a computer against viruses and malware and by keeping track of information such as ATM withdrawal slips and receipts.