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Credit card fraud

Criterion A – Describing the Issue: Describe correctly the underlying issue with an extended reference to a social context. (4 marks) As soon as you access the World Wide Web you become susceptible to hackers who are able to access your computer, your files and your internet records. A hacker is able to access a store’s database, which are usually private but an experienced hacker might be able to enter it anyway, from this database he can obtain information about the store’s customers such as their names, addresses and even credit card numbers. Parting from this point a hacker can use the information within the same store to purchase things using a customers name and credit card and send it to his own address (Helft, 2002).

This way both the store and the customers lose. Credit card customers who don’t report this on time are viable to end up paying for the product the hacker has purchased. If the customers DO report on time then the business or the credit card company would end up paying the customer the money which the hacker stole from them. Also, if the company isn’t able to identify the hacker then it’ll lose that product

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and would also end up paying for it.

Criterion B – IT Background of the Issue: Explain the IT background (including IT terminology, concepts, developments and trends) relevant to the issue. (4 marks) Concerning the issue of credit card fraud we might point out certain information technology developments which have helped to spread this issue in a negative aspect, consequently increasing the already large problem which fraud represents. The single most dangerous, and probably of increasing frequency, is the abuse the shops’ employees are able to carry out.

Some of them are able copy your credit card name, number and expiration date from the card while carrying out the transactions, they can also acquire this, and other information such as address, phone and birth date (needed to do a credit card on-line purchase) from the company’s database. All this information should be lying in the database, a recompilation of tables containing different data, because most companies and businesses like to keep these records in order to keep records of their customers and of everything that leaves the store, they also send the usual coupon on the customer’s birthday so they need full information on the customer for their database; if they have some sort of website where customers can purchase articles then it’s easier for the company to obtain the information.

If the employees have access to this database then they need only to access it, obtain the information and use it elsewhere in the name of their customers, if the data is not accessible to anyone and it’s not a public database, then any hacker (with or without much experience) will be able to enter the database and extract this information without being noticed until after the crime is committed. Codes and passwords can be easily decrypted and found as stated in the articles “Introduction to hacking” (The Mentor, 2002), “How do I hack” (j0662,2002) and “Password Cracking” (Kitten, 2002).

The issue with ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) is that there’s not much privacy when inputting the PIN number (a well located camera could easily tape this) or when retrieving both money and the card. Even inexperienced `hackers’ are able to do this by sticking gum into the card slot and later retrieving it with tweezers after learning the PIN entered by the card’s owner. This would lead to people mistrusting ATMs and forming long lines at banks instead of using them.

Criterion C – Analyzing the Impact of the Issue: Analyze and evaluate the impact on society. (4 marks) The social impact of credit card fraud is mainly produced by the IT which deals with this technology and by fraud itself. The impacts caused by fraud affect people both economically and morally; in the economical aspect credit card users see themselves affected when they pay their bills, if they don’t report/notice the purchase the hackers have made, they also must pay for the probably increasing payment rate of both the credit card and insurance companies, this would lead to the customers demanding pay rises in their jobs, their employers would ultimately charge more for their products eventually leading to inflation.

The people who are most affected are definitely the credit card uses since every change Employees within companies might be, by far, the most dangerous and the easiest method to obtain credit card numbers and the users information in order to use this information for internet purchases. This problem could lead to a mistrust if the credit cards to purchase at stores and eventually their use would drop greatly, leading companies to bankruptcy so people would prefer to carry more cash, leading to more theft and later to a total drop in purchasing generally.

Criterion D – Solutions to Problems Arising from the issue: Explain 2 solutions, evaluate their likely effectiveness and compare them both. (6 marks) People should be able to make their transactions free of peril and harm but this isn’t the case in most parts of our country and people usually don’t trust ATMs which are in public places, though employees in companies and businesses aren’t keen to credit card fraud (as far as I’m concerned) in fear that they’d lose their jobs but it might become a greater issue as jobs are assured and they become accessible to computers.

This problem might be solved in different ways: 1. Avoid using a `third party’ for credit card transactions and teach customers to do this on their own. 2. Keep the POS machines nearby so the employee doesn’t have time to note down any information such as the credit card numbers, expiration date and name on the card. 3. Forbid companies to have and/or distribute customers’ information, included credit card numbers. Criterion E – Selecting and Using Sources: Two or more appropriate sources are referenced in this section and cited in the document body.


Helft, Miguel, (2000), `Meet the real victims of Internet fraud’, [1]http://www. cnn. com/2000/TECH/computing/03/02/credit. card. fraud. idg/ , March 2nd Mentor, The, (2002), `Introduction to hacking’, [2] http://www. totse. com/en/hack/introduction_to_hacking/index. html, September 26^th j0662, (2002), `How do I hack? ‘, [3]http://www. totse. com/en/hack/introduction_to_hacking/164701. html, September 26^th Kitten, (2002), `Password Cracking’, [4]http://www. totse. com/en/hack/introduction_to_hacking/162682. html, September 26^th References http://edition.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/03/02/credit.card.fraud.idg/

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