130 million credit and debit card numbers stolen between 2006 and 2008 – just staggering. By now with this case and all the other large thefts of credit information that we know about, and that’s limited to the ones we know about, it’s hard to imagine if any single card holder still exists who hasn’t had their information compromised at one time or another. In most cases, the card holder is unaware their credit information has been breached. The first sign may be unauthorized purchases or cash advances on their card. In the case of their debit card, their cash balance may be gone, and not by their doing.
The question that remains in my mind – is 2009 an anomaly, or are these large scale thefts, ponzi schemes, outright embezzlements of millions and billions of dollars, the new standard for our society. Clearly the existing consequences for those responsible for these massive crimes are no deterrent, and something needs to change to establish more severe penalties.
Now I need to go and cut my credit cards in half to prevent them from being exploited, only to return to “cash” transactions. But wait, I can’t do that either, because the incidents of armed robberies and home invasions are also on the rise, seeking targets in possession of “cash.” So what is the solution?