Credit/Debit Card Abuse

Credit/Debit Card abuse is the use of your credit card or debit card by another to obtain a benefit fraudulently. This is the most common type of identity theft and can occur whether or not the person physically has your actual card.

Traditionally credit card fraud was limited to the use of stolen or lost cards to make unauthorized transactions, but due to advances in technology, there are now many other ways for thieves to obtain your credit card/debit card information.


Skimming is the use of a small device to obtain the electronic data off of the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit/debit card. The thief then re-encodes the data onto another card and uses it to make purchases or withdrawals. Common skimming locations are restaurants and fast food drive-thru windows. There have even been cases of devices placed on ATM machines to capture data. There have also been recent instances where skimming devices have been found installed inside gas pumps.


Many merchants using out of date software on their POS (point of sale) terminals fall victim to this. The thief hacks into the merchant's payment system and steals customer credit card number. Cards compromised by hacking tend to be from online transactions. When making online transactions, look for HTTPS in the web address. This lets you know that your transaction is secure.


Is the stealing of credit card information through electronic means. It is usually performed by sending emails that look legitimate that ask you to enter account numbers or credit card numbers. This also sometimes occurs when you open an attachment on an email and it installs whats known as a Trojan or keystroke logger on your computer. This program runs in the background on your computer. It collects and sends to criminal's your valuable financial information, usernames and passwords that can be used to cause you significant financial loss. The best protection against this is updated virus protection software for your computer.

If you believe that you have been the victim of debit card or credit card fraud, contact your bank or credit card provider and cancel the card immediately. If the transaction occurred in the City of Grapevine, or if you are a resident of the City of Grapevine and had fraudulent transactions on your card anywhere, download the Credit/Debit Card Abuse Affidavit and follow the instructions provided. When you have gathered the required documentation and completed the affidavit call the police department to make a report.