According to Rudolf Unterköfler, head of the Federal Crime Division at the Federal Criminal Police Office, Austrian law enforcement authorities identified a group that traded more than 50,000 credit card details on the dark web in the course of three years. The official stated that during the examination of the data, investigators discovered that 2,000 of the victims were Austrian citizens. Unterköfler added that through the intervention of the BK, in cooperation with international authorities, the cardholders did not suffer any damage in this case.
An official report that Austrian officials conducted on the field of cybercrime shows that there is a significant decrease in crimes related to carding. Between 2014 and 2016, victims only reported 4,516 of such incidents to the police.
However, Unterköfler said that the card does not have to be stolen for criminals to steal the money from them. The official explained that since there are no magnetic strips but chips on the cards, criminals, if they have the required data, can code the victims’ details to plastic cards, which they can use to steal their money. Unterköfler emphasized the dangers of online payments saying that cybercriminals can “infiltrate the systems of large online merchants” and they can obtain the financial information of the victims. He claimed that after the criminals have the required data, they have an easy job to pay with the stolen details, or even withdraw money from the cards.
Unterköfler said that apart from the police, cybercriminals can be stopped by the credit card companies. The official claimed that the screening of such companies works efficiently, and it is quickly noticed when extraordinary amounts are withdrawn, or the card is used “suddenly somewhere abroad” to pay for products or services. In such cases, the credit card provider often denies a transaction. In the event of any discrepancies, the companies contact the competent police authorities. The cardholders will only be informed about the criminal activities later since, in most cases, they suffer no harm.
Another point that contributes to safety is the technology behind the mapping systems. In the recent years, this tech has drastically improved.
“The original card must always be available for payment in Europe for trading and withdrawal from the cash machine – a fake card is immediately recognized and rejected,” Lucas Crow, spokesman for Visa Austria, said in a statement.
According to Crow, the main reason why credit card details are stolen is that many of the merchants are careless and they do not improve the security at their websites.
“Abusive purchases on the internet can only be carried out because the merchants deliberately and consciously do not improve the security measures, such as the check digit or a pin like ‘Verified by Visa’.”
Cardholders in Austria are not liable for payments with credit cards, which they have not authorized by online authentication or their signature.