Do Not Do an Online Search for Your Debit or Credit Card Account Numbers

MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express ( AMEX ), etc.


This website has recently discovered people are doing that. I'm guessing people do it in an attempt to see if their credit or debit card numbers have been stolen and are being posted online anywhere. Unfortunately, by searching online for your card number(s), you have just made your credit and/or debit card account number available to any website you then happen to land on; the website owner now has your card number.

What Happens When You Do a Search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Other Search Engines

Sequence:
  1. You do a search for your credit or debit card account number.
  2. A list of search results comes up.
  3. You click on one or more of the results.
  4. Now here is where the problems start... The vast majority of website owners automatically track what search terms bring people to their websites; they do this for perfectly benign and legitimate search-engine-optimization-related reasons. Your card number was the search term bringing you to the website and so is nicely displayed to the website owner along with all the other more usual search terms being recorded by the site. Now if you landed on an honest website, then your account number is simply ignored. But if you landed on a dishonest website who is looking for these kind of numbers...
Be wise, do not look for your credit or debit card account numbers online.

Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...
Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...

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