Pleasanton, California (EastBayDaily) — According to a recent USA Today’s survey, whose results were published on June 3rd 2014, on USA Today’s official blog, recent breaches at brick and mortar stores like Target, Michael’s, T.J. Max, and Marshals, are reportedly scaring off around 24% of online Americans into curtailing their online shopping. However, Scott Darling at PortableOne.com points out that consumers should actually be afraid of using a credit card in person.
Are credit card breaches happening at On-Line retailers or at "Brick and Mortar" stores?
According to the previously mentioned survey, conducted by USA Today from May 29 2014 to June 1st 2014, after recent security breaches resulting in actual stolen credit card information, 24% of Americans started to prefer shopping in person at brick and mortar stores vs. shopping online. Those breaches are making people feel insecure about the information that they put online, specifically their credit card details.
Most of the actual reported loss of consumer credit card information has occurred at brick and mortar stores like Target and Michael’s, while other major card breaches have involved skimmers at bank ATM machines, Point of Sale (POS) terminals at grocery store checkout counters, as described in this press release issued by SaveMart on November 23rd 2011, and published by CBS Local.
The breaches at Target and Michael’s involved malicious software installed on Target and Michael’s servers that electronically collected and sent credit card information to the crooks from holiday in-store purchases. According to this December 19 2013 report by the Reuters, “The theft [at Target] was national in scope and happened in stores, not online, and may have involved tampering with the machines customers use to swipe their cards when making purchases”.
According to Scott Darling, Portable One CEO and former Vice President at Visa, “Most major credit cards come with a 0% liability protection for the card holder meaning that if their card is compromised, the consumer will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges. Target cards are not branded by Visa, MasterCard or American Express who offer those protections, as explained in Target’s RedCard, very own disclaimer agreement: https://redcard.target.com/tdc/content/rc_idw_dc_agreement.”
While consumers can benefit from a range of built-in protections when shopping online, there are relatively few precautions one can take in a brick and mortar store. Several of the recent scams involved malicious hardware and software inside of legitimate POS terminals at grocery stores, like the most recent report by ABC News, June 11 2014, of a breach at P.F. Chang. Terminals looked perfectly normal to shoppers, store employees and even the technicians who installed them. Other scams, reports KXAN News in Round Rock, TX on May 20th 2014, involve employees who secretly skim a patron’s card behind the service counter or around the corner after its handed to them to pay the check. These in-person thefts have been happening coast to coast and just about everywhere in between.
Recent history reminds of a massive 2012 security breach, involving Global Payments, a major payment processor that sits electronically between many banks. According to the Wall Street Journal, On March 30th 2012, Global Payments was at the center of a scandal, involving 10 million cards electronically stolen, at physical points of sale.
According to the article, “The breach underscores the mazelike network of the U.S. payment system, where little-known companies play important roles in processing billions of transactions each day. Global Payments is part of a group of companies called "third-party processors," that serve as middlemen between merchants and banks.” While this might be an oversimplification, using a credit card in a physical store does not keep the credit card information from being transmitted over the internet.
About Portable One-
Portable One specializes in customizing name brand laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs – all built from the brands customers know and trust. They have been leading the industry since 1996 and specialize in customizing laptops on-line according to their client’s needs. Their clients can browse their extensive selection, customize a laptop online and save while getting the laptop they want. They focus on mid-sized and Fortune 1000 companies that gain competitive advantages through continuous mobile computing. For more information, please visit: http://www.portableone.com/