As the rate of credit card theft and hacking to continues to witness and increase with time, it is no doubt that dark web vendors involved in this type of sale continue to make more profits.
However, out of ignorance perhaps, buyers of cards tend to not know the fundamental differences that exist between certain cards.
Of course, there are variations and differences between the cards that are currently in use. These differences are in the card numbers, manufacturers, branding and logos, and also the regions in which popularity is high.
That means it is possible for one to tell the type of card just by having a look at the card number.
Below is a compiled list of credit cards and their comprehensive details that will enable one to differentiate which card is which. For dark web users who purchase credit cards, it is important to know this information because when a card is sold on the dark web, the only details that one gets is the card number, the CVV, the expiration date, the name of the individual, the country, and sometimes even their phone number and email.
Also, when it comes to debit and credit cards, both can be used for the same purpose.
Then there is also the aspect of credit card theft and hacking. It is always recommended to have certain limits on your card to avoid the probability of loss of funds, similar to any other platform you use; there are hackers ever-monitoring your usage and trying to steal your information.
1. Visa Cards
Visa cards originate from the United States of America. According to its website, Visa is the “center of cashless revolution.” It was first developed in the late 1950s by Bank of America, and its sole purpose was to facilitate credit card payments for middle-class consumers as well as small to medium-sized merchants.
Within just over a decade, the Visa platform introduced the debit card which was meant to diversify their activities further and attract more clientele.
A very crucial aspect of this card is the numbering. The numbers on Visa cards always start with a 4, and are sixteen characters long. So by just having the number, you will be able to tell what type of card it is.
According to a credit card forum, old cards have 13 characters though as at this point, they are rare to come across.
The numbering format of these cards carry a distinctive space after every four characters.
After the establishment of the Visa, several American banks realized the card was a success, and in a bid to rival their competitors, they launched what we call the MasterCard.
Due to the formation of alliances among banks, the card spread to Europe after they joined hands with Eurocard. The formation of the partnership was a strategic move meant to infiltrate the European Market and further establish more clientele.
MasterCards have their numbers start from 51 to 55. By seeing a card with numbers starting with the above, one will automatically know that it is a MasterCard. And just like in the Visa scenario, card numbers, in this case, are sixteen characters long.
In other instances, some MasterCards have their numbers start from 2221 all the way to 2720—though it’s usually rare to encounter this occasion.
Just as in the scenario with Visa, the numbers are spaced after every four characters.
The Maestro is purely a debit card. Even though it belongs to the MasterCard company, Maestro was introduced much later in time after MasterCard hit the ground and was fully established.
Just like the above two cards, Maestro cards have 16 characters as their number. They also have similar characteristics to other MasterCards.
It is important to note that the acquisition of the card is similar to the other ones, and solely depends on the agreement that you have between yourself and the financial institution that intends to offer you the services.
The card is more accepted in Europe as compared to other parts of the world. For example, in the U.S., it is the Visa card that has full ground support, and no other card can match up to it. But in other parts of the world, it faces stiff competition.
4. American Express
As the name suggests, this is a full American company. Also referred to as Amex, the establishment of the company dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.
And over time, the company has grown to become one of the leading card issuers in the United States, thus making it among some of the most recognizable brands globally.
Among the services that make this company famous include their issuance of charge cards, traveler’s checks and also credit cards.
To identify this card by its numbers, you will note that they start with either a 34 or a 37 and they are 15 characters long.
Then, the arrangement of these numbers is entirely different. In Visa and Master scenarios. The numbers are arranged in three blocks of four, six and five characters respectively. Of course, there is spacing after each block.
5. Discover Cards
The origin of the Discover Card is by the U.S. department store chain company, Sears. The card was developed decades after Visa and MasterCard.
It is a credit card with the primary role to offer better and more affordable services as compared to other cards offered by Visa and MasterCard. According to statistics, it is the fourth largest platform in the U.S. after Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Just as with Visa and MasterCard, the characters here have a length of sixteen characters too. The only difference is that they start with the number 65 or 6011.
Now, with the above factors in mind, one can easily tell what type of card an individual is using. Also, there are some sites and tools such as Validate Credit Card Numbers which will assist you to check the whether or not a card is valid. The site uses an algorithm by the name of Luhn. The algorithm is also used to test the validity of other types of cards.
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