KEY POINTS

  • FBI warns consumers about e-skimming or Magecart that steals consumers' credit and debit card payment information
  • The FBI reveals millions consumers' data have been compromised by this kind of online scheme over the past two years
  • One company shares 780 of its customers' have experienced e-skimming

The explosive growth of online selling and e-Commerce offers convenience to buyers and help companies sell their products. But, it appears that it has also become an attractive spot for hackers. The FBI now warns consumers of a new threat that compromises credit and debit cardholders.

What Is E-Skimming?

Web Skimming, E-Skimming, or Magecart is a kind of internet or carding fraud where malware is injected into the payment page of a website to steal consumers' payment details. Usually, it happens when attackers gain access to the online store, hide the malware on the website, and collect payment card data from users purchasing on the infected site. These kinds of attacks have been observed since 2016. It intensified over the years because of the rise of e-commerce and online selling industry.

Over the past couple of years, attackers have changed methods of their attacks, making any online store vulnerable to the attack. CNBC now reports that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued a warning to consumers about this scheme. FBI Cyber Division Section Chief Herb Stapleton told the publication that it is hard to put a definite number on the number of cases.

credit cards Credit cards are shown Photo: Republica / Pixabay

Signs That A Website Is Compromised

However, e-skimming has allowed millions of credit card number theft in just a couple of years, the FBI chief said. The sad thing is that it is almost impossible for any consumer to sense that they became a victim before the actual occurrence. The section chief explains that the infected site does not show any indication that it is already infected and would appear normal to consumers.

American Outdoor Brands, previously known as Smith & Wesson, reported having been a victim of e-skimming, which affected around 780 customers. Other companies, which fell victim to e-skimming recently includes websites of Macy's, Puma's Australian website, and Ticketmaster's UK website. The FBI does not reveal the exact number of sites, which have been compromised.

What Should Consumers Do

Binary Defense Senior Director Randy Pragman says it would be difficult for consumers to prevent their payment data from being taken through e-skimming. However, he suggests using a credit card instead of a debit card when paying online to minimize inconvenience should the card becomes compromised. According to the senior director, credit card users have lower fraud liability. Plus, it is easier to have your money returned when using a credit card than a debit card.