“Most people are taught to be good and kind but there are people who are not, so to protect yourself you have to put yourself into their mind set.” — Eric Chan-Tin, Loyola’s faculty expert on cybersecurity, on how to best protect yourself from online fraud

Illustration by Dan Page

How to steal a credit card

It’s all too easy to steal not just your credit card—but all the information tied to it. Loyola's own cybersecurity expert Assistant Professor of Computer Science Eric Chan-Tin, says nearly every individual who possesses a credit card is already on the black market. These days you really can’t buy or sell anything online without a credit card, which means consumers need to take the initiative and start thinking like a cyber criminal. How would you steal someone’s personal details? And, what information could you even buy?


Online will buy

  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Former names
  • Current and old addresses
Four ways you can steal someone's information

Be clumsy

Bump into someone, using a scanner to steal NFC chip information similar to the ones found on Ventra and tap-to-pay cards.

Pick it up

Use a small device that skims credit card numbers. Common locations can be restaurants, gas stations, or ATMs.

Build something new

Phish, through fake websites or payment systems, for personal credit cards—and check the validity of stolen card data.

Go simple

Break into someone’s house and steal their personal information from their personal documents and statements.

Read more from Loyola's cyber expert Eric Chan-Tin

How to protect yourself from identity theft


What's the full story about cybersecurity?