How thieves can use your card AFTER you’ve cancelled it

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By Cylanda Watchtower in CyberSecurity

I have some surprising information to pass along. There is a phantom service attached to your credit card you’re not supposed to know about. Here’s the deal – if your credit card ends up on the Dark Web and gets used by a cyber criminal, after you notice the transactions and cancel the card, they can still keep using it! Crazy, right? Here’s how.


Recently this happened to me on one of our business accounts, a Chase Visa card. I first noticed some suspicious, low-value transactions of $5 or less coming from the Google Play store, then later from Amazon. This strategy is called “tapping” where the thief tries to use the card a few times to make sure it works before the big score.

Luckily I had specifically requested that all transactions over $1,000 require phone authorization (I recommend you do the same) and it was a good thing too. A few days after the “taps” I received a call from Chase asking if we had authorized over $3,000 in charges to a convenience store in South Africa! Wow. That’s when I cancelled the card, a new one came in and I thought “disaster averted” – right? Wrong.

Only a few weeks later the “tapping” started again. How was this possible? Chase has a phantom service automatically enabled on all of their cards called “Digital Wallet.” If the card number is entered into a popular online service such as Google Play, Apple’s App Store, Amazon, Microsoft and Xbox Live and later the card number is changed, Chase will automatically give them the new card number so that they can keep charging it. Furthermore, Chase will allow charges to be made on the old, cancelled card number for up to 90 days after it has been shut down. The account rep mentioned that this practice is not unique to Chase and is followed by most major card companies.

The Takeaway

If you notice suspicious charges showing up on your credit card, before requesting a new one, be sure to ask the rep about this phantom service. The links below can help you investigate, but there may be a specific buried service with your bank, like I discovered with Chase.

Feel free to pass this along to someone who has a credit card and could benefit from this insider information.

Unfortunately, the Internet is broken. Join us in the fight to protect businesses like yours against theft, crime and disaster. Stay safe out there.




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