Fort Lauderdale Cyber Crime Lawyer Guest Post: The Advent of Credit Card Crime

June 12, 2009 by David S. Seltzer

This post was contributed by Kimberly Peterson, who writes about the criminal justice degree online. She welcomes your feedback at

Retail store employees have to deal with a lot from the general public these days: incessant questions about sales, customers who constantly throw merchandise around the store, and the every-so-often angry customer. More and more frequently, customers have been causing scenes in retail stores when returning merchandise because they do not have the credit card they originally did the transaction on. (You typically cannot return merchandise to retail stores without the original form of payment.) “Why don’t you keep that stuff on record?” retorts the irritated customer. Unbeknownst to customers, stores have drastically upped their security measures, including protecting credit card information, to better serve the public. What these customers have yet to understand is that these measures are put into place so that their credit card numbers are not stolen; if every store kept their 16 digit credit card number on record, don’t you think that would be a bit risky?

The past decade has seen a flurry of crime committed through the internet world, with the advent of online banking, as well as increased online spending. It is difficult to determine how safely guarded your credit information can be when send via websites, and the best you can do when making an online purchase is hope for the best or do your research. Retail stores in malls have similar problems since their information is now transmitted over the internet and their servers. Many stores kept records of credit card numbers on store copies of receipts until recently when this became a liability for the customer. High profile cases wherein someone hacked into stores’ servers became major headlines and many stores did all they could to change their systems in an effort to save their client relations. It thus became important to question which store was safe to shop in. Identity fraud is a common crime to commit in modern society because of the ease with which hackers can maneuver their way into various systems that keep records of your credit and vital information.

Retail stores have attempted to combat this new rise in crime through their new systems which can be somewhat inconvenient to customers, but have made huge attempts in curbing any type of hacking or stealing of information. TJMaxx and related stores made big headlines last August because of the theft of many of their clients’ credit card information from criminals around the world. While this does not appear to affect the credit card in any major way (parent companies cover the cost to VISA and other banks), we have seen results in smaller ways such as the rising of bank costs and related expenses, as well as higher prices in TJMaxx. It is amazing how quickly information can flow across the globe, so that criminals in Ukraine can garner information from sources in the U.S. and simply drain your credit funds. This becomes a difficult crime to combat because of its international sector, as well as a lack of a way to prevent this from happening. Viruses are instilled throughout the internet now so that criminals can easily steal your information from a single website; retail stores are only the beginning of the wave in crime and present an easy opportunity to take credit card numbers.

While the internet presents a large domain with which to control the amount of crime in, retail stores at least can muster up steps to combat these criminals through only displaying the last digits of a credit card. Although this may produce unpleasant customers, it is still good to know that most stores still keep the safety of their customer’s bank accounts in mind.

Guest blogger Kimberly Peterson maintains the Criminal Justice Degrees Guide site. Miami-Dade cyber crime criminal defense attorney David Seltzer represents people accused of credit card fraud, both online and offline. If you or someone you love has been charged with credit card fraud in South Florida, you should contact a South Florida credit card fraud criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, to minimize the negative effects on your family, your money and your life. To set up a free consultation with David S. Seltzer, you can contact him online or call -866-685-3421 seven days a week and 24 hours a day.