Fraudsters prefer to donate by credit card

More and more thieves are giving to charity, according to internet security firm Symantec.

But they're not getting more altruistic – all they're doing is making small donations to check if stolen cards are valid and have not yet been cancelled.

Thieves use the method because spontaneous donations to a good cause are more difficult for bank security systems to check than unusual transactions made by credit card, such as an expensive purchase aboard. However, Symantec noticed an unusual amount of small donations being made on charity websites and spotted the scheme.

"The reason fraudsters are choosing to test cards on charity websites is to get around bank checking systems," said Ollie Whitehouse, security response researcher at Symantec.

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