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Credit Card Theft and Identity Theft are Not the Same Thing

by | Dec 11, 2017 | MyTek Blog, Security


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While many might see having a credit card theft as fraud, this is often an oversimplification of the language, which can prove to be dangerous. While credit card theft is often a component of fraud, equating the two means other types of fraud are being overlooked. In today’s blog, we’ll re-evaluate why fraud and MasterCard or credit card theft aren’t precisely the same thing, and what you can do to keep your business safe from damages such as these.

Defining Crimes

As we mentioned, while credit card theft and fraud are associated with each other, they aren’t terms that should be used interchangeably because they don’t have the same meaning. Card theft is a type of fraud, but it isn’t fraud itself. Just like a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isn’t a square. 

Summed up, credit card theft is what happens when someone is in a position to access your account and make purchases without your permission. While this isn’t the sole sort of fraud, it certainly is a prevalent one. 

Identity theft may be a blanket term for criminal activity that falls into one among three categories:

  • Fraud or misuse of an existing account — This kind of identity theft is the most common, with 16.4 million of 2014’s 17.6 million victims being targeted by this variety of identity theft. When a thief obtains access to an account of yours–through a MasterCard, for example–and uses it to their own ends, or passes bad checks through it, it falls under this category.
  • Fraud or misuse in the making of a new account — If a criminal obtains your personal information and uses it to open an account in your name, you are made a victim of this kind of identity theft. This kind of fraud can range from relatively small, like opening a line of credit or a bank account, to large, like applying for a fraudulent mortgage on a house. This was reported about 1.1 million times in 2014.
  • Fraud or misuse related to personal information — All other uses of stolen personal information or data fall under this category, which held 713,000 of 2014’s reported cases. For their own personal benefit, someone uses your information in this type of fraud. This may be to find employment, rent property, see a doctor or even to lie to the authorities.

Protecting Yourself (and Your Clients and Employees) from fraud

Of course, you’ve probably already considered what proportion of personal or otherwise sensitive data you’ve got stored on your business network. There’s your business’s financial data, with employee information if they’ve paid through direct deposit. Any non-financial or financial records that you have of your clients also counts. In short, your business has so much data that must be protected, including MasterCard and other personally identifiable information. MyTek can help you keep it safe. Call us at 623-312-2440 for more information.


Tim - Team

Tim Tiller, LMSW

Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.


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