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Phone Jacking Your Credit Card

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

This blog entry takes up right where the last blog left off… Paranoia!

I saw this news story about ID Fraud the other day and I thought it was interesting – take a look! (It’s only about two and a half minutes long.)

Apparently individuals standing behind you in the line at the grocery store may be taking picture of your credit card!

I guess the deal is that with the image, they can then make charges against your credit card.

I process quite a few credit cards down at our Shredding Facility. This involves physically holding the credit card and having to enter the last four digits of the credit card account number into the terminal for verification purposes.

That being said, half the time I can barely read the last for digits of the account number.

Most of the time the color on the numbering that is used to make them stand out has been rubbed off. This makes it very difficult to read the numbers even when just a foot from my nose.

So this news story seems to imply that folks standing a few feet behind you in the store are going to be able to get a perfect enough image to get the account numbers off the card.

Well I gave it a try with my phone and one of my business cards (about the same size as a credit card with about the same font size). I was standing about 3 feet away and set up the card so I could take a direct picture. Take a look for yourself.

As you can see, it’s pretty difficult to make out any of the writing – And my business card is a high contrast bold white font on a black background.

I also took a picture of my credit card. I couldn’t make out the numbers in the picture (even when I downloaded the picture from my phone to my desktop) but I’m hesitant to put the picture on-line just because I don’t know if there is someone out there with the right software that could make out the numbers…

OK OK… Yes I’m Paranoid.

That being said, I guess this scenario is possible, but it just doesn’t seem very plausible in my opinion.

I suppose your best bet is to not flail your credit card around openly while standing in line at the grocery store – keep it under wraps until you have to swipe it.

The news story also talks about making sure you are shredding sensitive documents rather than just throwing them out… but you know all about this already since you are keeping up with all my blog entries – Right!

Anyway, enough paranoia for this week.

Until next time.

Keep Totally Secure,


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