Most cyber theft we hear about in the news are the headline grabbers. Mega amounts of data and financial theft in huge corporations is nothing new, but we rarely think that everyday happenings in life are also at risk. In a typical day we hand over debit and credit cards at grocery stores and gas stations, never really thinking the information on those cards could be at risk. We trust the person on the receiving end of our financial data have good intentions and therefore there’s no real need for concern. But not so long ago, a Burger King customer in Ohio found that a drive thru meal could have cost her much more than she bargained for.
While on her lunch break, a customer noticed something strange while at the drive thru window of her local Burger King. After handing the BK employee her debit card, she noticed he was getting busy with his phone. After confronting the employee about taking a picture of her debit card, he adamantly denied it and continued arguing with her. Not one to take his word for it, she contacted the manager of the fast food restaurant. The manager confiscated the employee’s phone and after discovering a treasure trove of debit and credit card pictures on it, he called 911. Ryan immediately cancelled her debit card and considered herself fortunate to have caught the cybercrook in action before it was too late.
The lesson learned here is that low-level cybercrime happens more than we realize. Although massive, high-tech cybercrime aimed at corporations rakes in billions annually, low-tech fraud can rack up $30,000 to $50,000 a year per cybercriminal. That’s a tempting prospect to someone with cybercrime on their mind, especially someone who handles the digital payment systems we’ve come to count on daily.
Not that we should begin accusing local merchants of data theft but keeping an eye on where our cards go during a purchase can help. Should you suspect something, acting quickly can be your best ally. Immediately cancelling a payment card is a great way of preventing further financial damage. Once a card is cancelled, not one cent will be at risk. It may be a short-term inconvenience to replace the card, but the peace of mind knowing your funds are safe is well worth it. After all, no one wants to find out that buying lunch at a drive-thru window may have cost them much more than they expected.