Global Payments announced last week, according to CNN, that hackers had breached their secure network and stole up to 1.5 million card numbers, though no personal information such as names or Social Security numbers were accessed.
The breach was one of several in the past few years. Throughout the past year alone, large corporations like Google, Sony’s Playstation Network, National Public Radio and the International Monetary Fund were targets of cyber attacks. In June, hackers stole information from close to 400,000 credit card accounts at Citigroup, according to CBS News.
Once hackers acquire customer and cardholder data, they use it to search through the web for other information about the consumer. Then, in a scam known as spear phishing, a targeted email resembling those distributed by banks is sent to the customer with the possibility that the consumer will give up even more personal information, CBS News reports.
Yaron Samid, the CEO of Bill Guard, a personal finance security firm, said that hackers who have confidential data will try to sell it on the black market and will confirm that the card is active by charging small monetary amounts to the card, according to CBS News.
Security breaches and hacking affect up to eight million consumers in the U.S. every year. A recent survey by Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that consumers who were notified of a security breach were approximately 10 times more likely to be the victims of fraud compared to those who did not receive notifications.