Watching Your Wallet: ‘BIN Attack’

Hackers come after your money any way they can, and if you have a credit card, one approach is a new scam called a ‘BIN attack.’
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 4:45 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hackers come after your money any way they can, and if you have a credit card, one approach is something you may not have heard of. It’s a new scam called a ‘BIN attack.’

Credit cards are certainly convenient, but they do come with risks. Hackers are always trying to access your credit card information. There’s a new method they’re trying now that’s called a ‘BIN attack.’ BIN stands for Bank Identification Number.

If you didn’t know, the first four to six numbers on your card identify the bank that sent you the card and the card network. The numbers that come after the BIN are your personal numbers that have been generated randomly by a computer. What hackers do is they get those bank identification numbers and then use a computer to try to generate the rest of the numbers, so they can use a legitimate account to steal money or make purchases.

This is where you need to especially pay attention. What the hackers do next is something called credit card testing. That’s where they try the numbers to make small purchases to see if they have a valid card.

If you see suspicious activity on your account, notify your bank immediately. One good practice is to ask your credit card company to send you an email every time a transaction larger than $5 occurs. You’ll get a lot of emails, but you’ll also be able to quickly identify charges you didn’t make.

Now, keep in mind that hackers don’t always steal your money themselves. They often take valid numbers and sell them to other criminals on the dark web.

That’s why it’s important to monitor your accounts regularly. You can limit the damage by just being aware and checking your bank account weekly, if not daily.

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