How to Identify a Credit Card by the Account Number
The digits of a credit card reveal important information.
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When accepting credit card numbers over the phone from customers, you can easily identify the type of card without asking the customer. While each credit card has a unique string of numbers, in varying lengths, the first one or two digits will reveal the issuer of the card. You can also note other characteristics of the number to help you confirm the evidence.
Simply noting the first digit of the credit card account number can help you narrow down or identify the issuer. Credit cards, such as MasterCard, Visa, and Discover, all have unique, identifying numbers as their first digits, with the exception of American Express, Diner's Club and Carte Blanche, which share the same first digit: the number 3. MasterCard's unique first digit is 5, while Visa's is always 4. A Discover card's first digit is consistently the number 6.
You can further identify credit cards that start with the same first number by analyzing two or more digits. For example, even though American Express, Diner's Club and Carte Blanche all start with the number 3, you can confirm American Express numbers if the first digit, 3, is followed by a 4 or a 7. However, if a zero, 6 or 8 follow the 3, the credit card number belongs to a Diner's Club or Carte Blanche account.
Some of the more common issuers of cards have between 13 and 16 digits. Each type of account number hasspecific lengths, which can serve as a secondary method to identify the type of credit card. For example, Visa account numbers are either 13 or 15 digits long. If you see a credit card number that starts with a 4 and contains 13 or 15 digits, you can assume it's a Visa. Mastercard and Discover account numbers contain 16 digits. American Express contains 15 digits, and Diner's Club and Carte Blanche contain 14 digits.
The first digit of every credit card serves as a major industry identifier, or MII. For example, if the first digit of a card number is a 7, the card is issued by an entity related to the petroleum industry, such as a gasoline brand. Digits 4 and 5 -- Visa and MasterCard -- relate to the banking and financial industry. The number 6 -- Discover -- represents merchandizing and banking. Account numbers beginning with 3 -- American Express, Diner's Club and Carte Blanche -- tie their issuing entity to the travel and entertainment category. The numbers 1 and 2 relate to airlines or other industry assignments, while the number 8 identifies telecommunications or other industry assignments. A number 9 represents a national assignment entity.
How many digits does the Valid Credit Card Number have?
First of all, all potential cardholders should know, that the different types of credit cards have different number of digits in their numbers.
Below is the full list of credit card issuers and the respective length of their credit card numbers:
Visa and Visa Electron Credit Cards
These credit cards have 13 or 16 digits in their number.
Mastercard and Discover Credit Cards
Both of the above cards have 16 digits.
American Express Credit Cards
AmEx cards have 15 digits in their number.
You will find exactly 14 digits in the Diner’s Club Credit Card number.
How to check validity of credit card numbers (Luhn’s algorithm)
Credit or Debit cards are issued by banks (and also by other institutions) to carry out easy and wide scale transactions with ease. Each of these cards has a unique Card Number associated with it. This is the number that is used to validate the card at the time of carrying out transactions.
You don’t need a complex algorithm to check the validity of your debit or credit card. With the help of a simple calculation, you can verify the validity of your card (or any card). In order to validate a card, you first need to understand how credit / debit card numbers are assigned.
Ever wondered what those numbers on your credit card mean? Your card number is not randomly allocated. Rather, they follow some regular pattern which helps us to find card related information. Here is how the numbers are generated.
The first six digits of the card tell us about the card’s issuer and is known as the Issuer Identification Number (IIN). Cards can be looked up by this number. Given below are some of the examples of IIN.
Discover: 6011xx, 644xxx, 65xxxx
American Express (Amex): 34xxxx, 37xxxx
The seventh and following digits resemble cardholder’s account number.
The final digit is the checksum. This is the digit used to validate cards using Luhn’s algorithm.
You can check whether your credit or debit card is really valid or not by following the steps mentioned below. Take, for example, the card number: 4417 1234 5678 9113
Step 1: Start from the right side and separate all the even and odd digits.
4 4 1 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 3
Step 2: Double all the digits in the first set
Step 3: Add all double digit numbers as the sum of their digits.
Step 4: Add all the odd digits (those that have not been doubled) to the even (doubled) digits.
8 + 2 + 2 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 9 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 1 + 3 = 70
Step 5: Final result – If the final result is divisible by 10, the card number is valid.
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If you’re part of my generation, you might have had to convince your parents or grandparents at some point that using their credit card online is safe. “It doesn’t feel safe,” they say, but you tell them that’s the way everyone shops all the time, and their credit card information is totally safe.
But you’re wrong. Credit card numbers do get stolen, and credit card fraud does happen, both online and offline. But how does it happen? How does a thief get your card number? Why don’t verification systems prevent these problems? And what can you do to keep your own cards safe? Let’s take a look at credit card fraud and find out how you can protect yourself.
Obviously, the first thing that needs to happen for credit card fraud to take place is someone else getting your credit card number Fraudsters Still Clone Credit Cards: Keep Plastic In Your Pocket Fraudsters Still Clone Credit Cards: Keep Plastic In Your Pocket If you regularly pay by credit or debit/cheque card (and who doesn’t these days?) you should be aware that your card can be cloned. But how is this done, and what types of business are. Read More . There are a number of ways to accomplish this, and they range from the very basic, to the more technologically complex.
Phishing Gone Phishing: 5 Security Terms You Need to Know Gone Phishing: 5 Security Terms You Need to Know The Internet is a shark tank; you're exposed to threats left and right. You need to understand the risks to protect yourself. Here we introduce you to the five most common online security threats. Read More , for example, is an old strategy that only requires a thief to be a smooth talker. They’ll get in touch with you via phone, email, post, or some other way, usually posing as someone from your credit card issuer, and talk to you into giving them your credit card information. It sounds like something you’d be able to spot right away, but some phishers are really good at what they do—this is very similar to the tactic that was used in the British phone hacking scandal Not Just Email: Your Voice Mail Can Be Hacked, Too - Here's How To Secure It Not Just Email: Your Voice Mail Can Be Hacked, Too - Here's How To Secure It Read More a couple years ago.
Another way in which thieves could come to have your 16-digit credit card number is through online data breaches like those suffered by Target, Home Depot, the Playstation Network, and a whole list of others in recent years. The numbers stolen from those sites often end up on “carding9rdquo; shops, where people go to buy stolen credit card numbers for use online. According to Brian Krebs, the card numbers sold on Rescator, one of the biggest card-buying sites, go for a median price of about $27 per card. This makes it easy for thieves to buy hundreds of cards at a time, potentially including yours.
It’s not always a merchant or a bank that’s compromised, though; sometimes it’s your own computer. If a hacker manages to get a keylogger or another type of malware Viruses, Spyware, Malware, etc. Explained: Understanding Online Threats Viruses, Spyware, Malware, etc. Explained: Understanding Online Threats When you start to think about all the things that could go wrong when browsing the Internet, the web starts to look like a pretty scary place. Read More installed on your computer, they could easily nab your credit card information when you use it for online shopping. Because most people don’t do enough to protect their computers from malware, this is a serious threat.
Your card itself can also be the target for card thieves. With the increase in contactless payment credit cards, radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners have become a more popular method to steal credit card information; all a thief needs to do is get a scanning device in close range RFID Can Be Hacked: Here's How, & What You Can Do To Stay Safe RFID Can Be Hacked: Here's How, & What You Can Do To Stay Safe How much do you know about RFID chips? Do you know how many you're carrying at any given moment? Do you know what information is stored on them? Do you know how close a hacker. Read More to your card, and they’ll have all the information they need.
This same strategy can be used if your phone uses near-field communication (NFC) NFC! What Is It Good For? Here Are 5 Uses NFC! What Is It Good For? Here Are 5 Uses If your phone doesn’t already have a Near-Field Communication chip in it, your next one probably will. High-end Android handsets are quickly adopting the tech and while Apple has so far shrugged it off, adoption. Read More to communicate with points of sale to share your credit card information—Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Visa PayWave, and similar apps Everything You Need to Know about Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay Everything You Need to Know about Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay all have their advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at exactly how each of them works and who can use them. Read More use this technology when you pay with them. If an NFC reader is compromised or tampered with, it could be giving your credit card information to a criminal.
A similar method called “skimming9rdquo; requires a thief to have a physical scanner that reads the information from your credit card Fraudsters Still Clone Credit Cards: Keep Plastic In Your Pocket Fraudsters Still Clone Credit Cards: Keep Plastic In Your Pocket If you regularly pay by credit or debit/cheque card (and who doesn’t these days?) you should be aware that your card can be cloned. But how is this done, and what types of business are. Read More . These devices are surprisingly easy to get (you can get a basic reader for $13 on Amazon), and thieves can be rather creative in using them to tamper with ATMs How Scammers Can Use ATMs To Clean You Out How Scammers Can Use ATMs To Clean You Out That ATM in the wall of your local bank might look like an easy way to get some cash, but you need to make sure that the scammers didn't get there first. Read More , card readers at businesses, and other places where your card is swiped on a regular basis. ATM fraud is surprisingly common; check out Dan Price’s awesome article on ATM fraud These 7 News Reports Prove ATM Fraud Can Hit At Any Time These 7 News Reports Prove ATM Fraud Can Hit At Any Time We often go into auto-pilot while using ATMs, but in Europe alone, cash point fraud increased by 15% in the first six months of 2015. These news stories prove ATM fraud can strike at any. Read More to see just how much of it happens every day.
And, of course, there’s the most time-tested, old-fashioned way: just stealing the card. A forgotten wallet or purse, a dropped card, an unlocked car door, or any number of things, can make your card easy for a thief to grab. Sometimes they’ll just write down your information—the number of waiters caught writing down card numbers while running customers’ cards is larger than you might expect.
Of course, once a thief has your credit card, the hardest part is done. Now all they need to do is use it (or sell it). Banks want you to think that your credit card transactions are very secure, but a quick trip to the store makes it clear that anyone with your card could use it wherever they want. I live in the US, where not all cards have EMV chips Heads Up, Americans: Here's How Credit Cards Are Changing in 2015 Heads Up, Americans: Here's How Credit Cards Are Changing in 2015 Chip credit cards have been standard for years in the world outside of the USA. Now they're coming to the US; here's everything you need to know. Read More yet, and I haven’t had my signature checked against my card or driver’s license in a long time.
Contactless payments with cards don’t require PINs or signatures, so they’re perfect for credit card thieves (even though the limits for contactless payments are rather small, they add up quickly). Online payments don’t require PINs or signatures ether, so going on an Amazon shopping spree with a stolen card is remarkably easy.
And, as I mentioned, these card numbers can be sold online. Rescator is one of many sites that sell this information—most of these sites are on the dark web, where all sorts of identifying information can be bought Here's How Much Your Identity Could Be Worth on the Dark Web Here's How Much Your Identity Could Be Worth on the Dark Web It's uncomfortable to think of yourself as a commodity, but all of your personal details, from name and address to bank account details, are worth something to online criminals. How much are you worth? Read More , but some are easy to get to from any browser. By staying hidden, using servers based in other countries, and making it difficult for law enforcement to look for patterns in stolen cards, these sites stay untouchable.
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of different ways that fraudsters can obtain and use your credit card information—it might seem like it’s impossible to protect yourself. But by following a few simple guidelines, you can significantly decrease the chances that you’ll fall victim to credit card fraud.
First, don’t share your card information over the phone or in an email. Most credit card companies, banks, and stores won’t ask for your credit card information via email, so an email asking for this information should be a clear sign that you’re being scammed 5 Examples To Help You Spot A Fraud Or Fake Email 5 Examples To Help You Spot A Fraud Or Fake Email The shift from spam to phishing attacks is noticeable, and is on the rise. If there's a single mantra to keep in mind, it's this -- the number one defense against phishing is awareness. Read More . If you need to share your information over the phone, be sure that no one is around to overhear you.
Second, pay attention to online security news; if a retailer or a bank that might have your credit card information gets hacked, call your bank, tell them what happened, and ask for a new card. You could wait to see if you get any suspicious charges on your account before alerting your bank, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to take that chance before starting the process.
Third, if your card is RFID-equipped, consider getting an RFID-blocking wallet What Are RFID-Blocking Wallets & Which Should You Buy? What Are RFID-Blocking Wallets & Which Should You Buy? If you knew that someone could read your credit cards, passport, and even driver's license without actually having to swipe them, would you take steps to guard against it? Read More so your card is protected while it’s in your pocket. By blocking RFID signals, the wallet prevents any device from reading the information on your card until you take it out to use it.
Fourth, be on the lookout for any card-scanning device that looks like it’s been tampered with. ATMs, pay-at-the-pump gas stations, small stores and restaurants, and many other places can be targeted by skimmers. If something looks suspicious, use another method to pay. Make cash withdrawals from within your bank, pay at the counter when you buy gas, and don’t let your card out of your sight.
Finally, make sure to monitor your credit card statements, bank statements, and credit reports on a regular basis. The earlier you catch a potentially fraudulent transaction What To Do If You’re A Victim Of Online Credit Card Fraud What To Do If You’re A Victim Of Online Credit Card Fraud Read More , the better the chances that you’ll be able to prevent further trouble. You can get a credit report free every year from annualcreditreport.com, but you should make sure to check your online accounts much more frequently than that to see if anything suspicious is going on.
Now that you know how credit card fraud happens and what you can do to protect yourself, we want to hear your stories of credit card fraud. Have you ever had a card stolen? Do you know how the thief got the information? What tipped you off to the fact that your card had been compromised? And what did you do about it? Share your stories below so we can all learn from them!
Over the years I've had froudulent charges a few times, always caught by the credet card company before I even knew. Lately, 5 incidents in aout 6 weeks. all but one caught by the company, and the rest the charges were declined as the persons didn't have the right information. One of the incidents was with version where a party called up saying they were me, and to ad da new account. it was also declined by Verizon for not enough information. The last incident was today with a Sears card, which was replaced last January for similar reasons. Seems this is getting bad. I have no idea as to how the information was obtained, with online purchases I suppose it gets hacked somehow. The last three incidents were attempts for online ites generated from Texas, I'm in NC.
Hm, that's strange. Could be a hack of a company that you've done online business with before, I suppose, or maybe your bank.
I just opened a new credit card a month ago. I got the card solely to transfer a balance from high interest card to this zero percent interest card. I have made exactly 4 transactions - the initial balance transfer (on the phone with customer service representative that I called), a payment to the account, and one $14 online purchase for my son. Card is still in my dresser with the sticker on it. It's never been out of the house. Yesterday I received an email from the issuer that there may be fraudulent activity on the account. Someone used it 3 times for Dominos purchases ($57 each) in a city 2 hours south of me, and another Dominos purchase in NC (7 hours north), they ordered $400 online from a lamp company that, thankfully, needed an address verification, attempted to set up a paypal account - again needing an address verification. A clothing company - same story and they TRIED to order $4000 worth of stereo equipment. Apparently, in addition to my account number, they have my address and cellphone number -what's tripping them up is not shopping to the same address.
I just don't don't understand how they got this info.
Sounds to me like the it could be a hack at the bank. Either that or someone with access to your mail is doing it.
On 4-4- 2017 a phone call came to my mobile asking is it Dr Rameshbabu? I said yes speaking. Do you stay at such a residence? I said yes. You hold SBI credit card ? yes I said Plan for your card is going to change we are sending new card within 7 days. Your card details remain same. Your card number starts from. yes. Kindly tell details ? I told him, He asked OTP. I told and within seconds Rs 9000/ was debited from my card and phone went silent
How that person knows abut my card?
As far as I'm aware, it's impossible to tell from your story how that person got your card details in the first place. It sounds to me like your bank could have been hacked. Is there any evidence of that?
I felt compelled to respond to this article due to ID theft. I'm on round 3. The first one was in 2010 where they had all of my information. Name , address, phone number , date of birth, SSN and accurate bank information. I cancelled everything and opened new accounts. They claimed that I had an unpaid play day loan account and there was a warrant for my arrest. The police came and verified it was a scam after listening to the phone threats. The continued to contact me but I ignored them.
2013 some one applied for a Cash Call loan during my old address and information from the first ID theft incident. I was alerted by LIFELOCK and my IDentity Guard accounts and was able to stop the account from opening. The good thing is they were going yo do the debits from my old closed bank account from the first incedent so I felt semi safe.
Fast forward to 2017. Some one had stolen my information again. They now have my new address and information from my credit card. The purchased a security system in Memphis Tennessee which fortunately they included the account number on the transaction list on my statement. I called the company who could only verify where the purchase was made but could not give me the information as to who is doing this. They did ask me the ridiculous question if I was going to press charges? How can I press charges if the criminal had more protection rights than I do. I also had to give information proving that I was not in Memphis at the time of the charges. And needed to explain how it is that they could use my card and access all of my information if the card had been in my procession at all times. The bank claims they verified with the company that the billing information belongs to me. Not exactly something I have not already confirmed. I told them they need to get the information of where the security system is installed which the security system company said could be given to the banks Legal Department because the crime us against the bank and not against me. LOL
The Internet charges cannot be traced because do not currently have an account with the ISP but the card company wanted a valid letter from the company proving the last time I paid a bill to the. And when my old an out was closed over 7 years ago. There is no information in their system so I'm not sure if I will be stuck paying for cable from a provider that does not offer services in the county I live in.
What's do frustrating is I only disputed the charges that were not mine not the whole bill. This card is only used for business with recurring automatic debits from the same exact companies. Outside purchases are only made from two other companies and only when office supplies are needed. The card had never been used for retail purchases and had never been used out of state. The company can see who the criminal is but cannot reveal who he is. The companies that I contacted where the purchases were online purchases did not require the security code to complete the transaction.
I feel that even if a company cannot reveal who the criminal is to me they should flag the account and give the true card holder the option to start a criminal investigation. Regardless of what they say this is a crime against the cardholder echo stands to lose the most.
Any card company who does not take the precaution to ask for the security code should be forced legally to reimbursed accounts whenever there is a complaint of fraudulent charges. Let that be their hoop to jump through.
I asking found out that this particular card company sends their cards in the mail ALREADY ACTIVATED. I found that out when I told them that I received but had not activated my new card. I told them that was dangerous and crazy considering that there are companies that are allowing transactions without security codes and if they send activated cards if it is stolen before it gets to the card holder then they would have all they need to do lots of damage before they can be stopped. Seriously why would that be my or any other card holders fault.
So today I was searching for RFID protection wallets. I'm not sure if they work because there is too much conflicting information.
Chips are not much protection. This is chip protected.