Fraud Dictionary
Card Cloning

Card Cloning

Although card cloning is a common form of fraud, there are many steps that can be taken to prevent it from happening. By using unique and complex passwords, keeping your cards secure, and monitoring your account activity, you can prevent your account from being cloned and stolen.

What is Card Cloning?

Card cloning is a type of fraud that involves copying another person’s credit card and using it to make purchases online, in shops, or anywhere else where you need a payment method. While it might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, card cloning scams are all too real. And they can be incredibly dangerous for anyone who falls victim to them. In most cases, card cloning is used to steal another person’s identity and access their financial details for fraudulent reasons. Most commonly, this happens when the original user leaves their debit card somewhere visible or fails to securely lock the card up when they aren’t using it. Then again, there are other ways in which card cloning scams can happen without leaving any trace behind.

How does card cloning work?

Card cloning is when someone copies your credit or debit card. They do this by either physically stealing the card, recording the details as you enter them on a device, or installing malware on a computer you use to enter the card details. When they have the card details, they can use them to buy things – usually online, but sometimes in person too. Card cloning is dangerous because it’s hard to trace. When you use your card, you leave a digital trail of where and when you used it. But if someone has cloned your card, they can use it without ever leaving their name behind.

What are the impacts of Card Cloning on ecommerce businesses?

Card cloning can have a huge impact on ecommerce businesses, especially when it comes to chargebacks. When an order is placed using cloned credentials, the seller will receive payment from the bank.

However, if the payment is later reversed by the rightful owner of the card, the seller will be charged the amount of the order. If the seller failed to verify the cardholder’s identity, they will be held responsible for the chargeback amount. 

There may also be long-term effects, as card cloning can lead to tarnished reputation. With each chargeback, your business’s reputation is dragged down a little bit further. If it becomes a regular occurrence, customers may avoid your business altogether.

According to a recent report published by Credit card processors and risk management companies, card cloning fraud has cost the US $4.5 billion since 2011. The study further states that card cloning accounts for as much as 2.44% of all online transactions every year. 

In other words, card cloning is a huge threat to online businesses. Its high rate of occurrence means that it’s highly likely that your business will be affected by it at some point in time. If this happens to you, it’s important to take steps to protect your business and reduce the risk of card cloning.


Common card cloning methods

Card cloning can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Using a copying machine to make a copy of the card
  • Using a skimming device to capture information from the card reader
  • Stealing the card from the victim’s wallet
  • Plundering a physical card

Strategies to prevent Card Cloning

  1. Strong Customer Authentication
    Businesses can reduce the risk of card cloning by implementing strong customer authentication. This is when a business verifies the identity of each customer when they make a purchase. The most common ways to do this are with a password and two-step authentication. 
  2. Strong Encryption
    Businesses should also make sure their systems are encrypted. This means data is scrambled so it can’t be read by other people. Hackers will often clone information from unsecured computers, so it’s important to make sure all systems are safe.
  3. Up-to-date Technologies
    Finally, businesses should make sure their systems are up to date. Outdated computers, software, and other equipment can make it easier for hackers to break in. It’s important to stay on top of any software updates so your systems stay secure.


Is card cloning still a threat in 2022?

While there have been no reported cases of card cloning in decades, it’s hard to say what threats may arise in the future. It’s possible that new technologies may make cloning easier than ever before. 

If cloning becomes easier, businesses will need to invest in new security strategies to protect their systems. It’s important that businesses keep an eye out for the latest threats, and take steps to protect against them as soon as they detect them.

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