Indeed, 3D Secure makes online shopping safer when using your credit or debit card, however, you can bypass 3D Secure. This system requires direct approval from the card owner to authorize a payment. The feature evolved from the first version where the bank asked the user for a code or a static password to approve the transaction.
In the newer version (3DS 2) for phones, you can confirm your purchase by using your fingerprint or face in your bank app. Visa believes that introducing 3D secure will keep fraudulent transactions to the barest minimum or eliminate them.
But guess what? 3DS isn’t super strong. Even though it helps, bad people can still find a way to buy things without asking.
You might be curious about how they do it. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you in this article. We’ll explain how to beat 3D secure just for educational purposes, so you can be safe and not fall for tricks.
We’ll call 3D Secure “3DS” and 3D Secure 2.0 “3DS 2” in this article.
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How to Bypass 3D Secure
Despite the advanced security features that 3DS 2 provides, the first version is still widely deployed, and there are methods that can be used to go around it. Let’s take a look at these techniques you can use to bypass 3D secure:
1. Social engineering
Threat intelligence company Gemini Advisory discussed this in their findings.¹ It all starts with gathering a significant amount of a cardholder’s personal information, which includes:
- Phone number
- Email, address
- Mother’s maiden name
- ID number
- Driver’s license information
There are two ways to do this:
a. Impersonate a bank representative
Using the information, one might pose as an employee of a bank. Then reach out to the cardholder and appear legitimate to gain their trust.
When you share personal information about yourself, the goal is to try to make the cardholder feel comfortable to a point where they won’t think twice about giving you the password or code to complete the transaction.
These tactics can potentially work with newer versions of 3DS as well, enabling you to make purchases in real time.
b. Fake Caller ID (Spoofing)
For this method, the first step is to get all the necessary card details. Then, you’ll need a phone number-spoofing app and a voice changer.
- Initiate a purchase on a website but halt the checkout process.
- Utilize the phone number-spoofing app to impersonate the bank’s phone number (usually found on the back of the card) and call the cardholder. Employ similar strategies as mentioned earlier to establish trust with the cardholder.
- Inform the cardholder that a confirmation code will be sent for final identity verification.
- Resume the checkout process, and when prompted to enter the verification code sent to the cardholder’s phone, you, as the user, will be able to retrieve that code from the victim to complete the transaction.
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2. Phishing sites
These sites pretend to be real ones and fool people into giving away their account details. The information can then be used on the actual website. Here’s how it is done.
The cardholder clicks on a link that looks just like their favorite store’s website. But guess what? It’s not the real deal—it’s a fake.
Now, here’s where the trick to bypass 3D secure comes in: When the cardholder starts shopping on this fake site thinking it’s the real store, you are then able to collect the payment info and then pass the payment details through to the legitimate site to pay for your own purchases, which the actual cardholder then unwittingly verifies through 3DS.
This also involves some form of social engineering because you must get some background info on the cardholder to know what websites they prefer to shop on (to design the phishing page).
You can also get the cardholder’s email or social media accounts to figure out what websites they trust. That way, you can make a fake page that looks totally real and get them to fall for it.
However, Google offers a tool for reporting phishing websites.
Another method that’s been exploited for bypassing 3D Secure involves using PayPal.
In this scenario, one has to link payment card details to a PayPal account and opt for PayPal as their payment choice when shopping.
This technique works with a debit card, and one would need access to the associated bank account for confirming a small deposit along with a PayPal code.
However, when dealing with a credit card, only access to the online PayPal account is necessary, as a validation code isn’t always required by PayPal for confirmation.
Certain corners of the internet, such as dark web marketplaces and forums, peddle payment cards coupled with bank account login data. When the information is collected, one can link payment cards to a PayPal account and then make purchases on websites that use PayPal payments. It does not matter if the specific site uses 3D Secure.
4. Smart Setup
Here’s another way you can try to work around the 3D Secure system. The idea here is to make it seem like the purchase is actually coming from the cardholder themselves. Curious about the why and how? Well, we’ve got the scoop.
You see, the whole point of 3D Secure, whether it’s version 1 or 2, is to use computer algorithms to compare how a transaction looks to past patterns of the real card owner.
So, if someone can copy these patterns, there’s a pretty good chance the transaction will go through.
How this Smart Setup Works
1. Zip Code and Location
Your computer’s digital signature needs to pretend to be just a few miles away from where the cardholder lives. You can use a swanky tool like a Premium VPN or RDP to make your computer’s digital home match the cardholder’s place.
So, if the card owner’s address is something like 787 Ardmore Ln, Shelbyville, KY 40065, your computer needs to pretend it’s chilling just a few streets away from “Ardmore Ln, Shelbyville.”
2. Time and Date
This is an often overlooked aspect. There’s no point in matching the victim’s location if your computer’s date and time are not in sync with that of a computer in that particular geographical location you’re trying to mimic. It’s the small things that count.
3. Cookie Cleanup
- Hit the magic shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Del” to erase a browser’s history like it never existed.
- Right-click on the “Start” button.
- Then select “Run” from the list of commands to open up a dialog box.
- Type in “%TEMP%” in the dialog box.
- Hit enter to clear out all those digital breadcrumbs called temporary files.
4. Call the Online Store in Advance
One can then pretend to be the actual cardholder. So, they call the online store before making the purchase to inform them they’ll be making a purchase.
This method works on store owners 9/10 times. This is actually because they think it is the actual card holder calling them. Thus, most times they skip necessary order verification steps and just go ahead and ship the order.
5. Make small purchases
Sometimes, 3D Secure can make buying things online more complicated. Some online shops turn off the 3DS feature for smaller buys for convenience.
For example, if you’re spending less than 30 or 50 bucks, your transaction might not need to go through 3DS.
If you use the card too many times or rack up over a hundred dollars, the system may detect suspicious activities. So, just keep your purchases below the radar.
6. Don’t just add to the cart
Some online shopping sites now contain bots that are able to decipher customer habits.
Most online shoppers won’t just go to a page, click on a product, add five pieces of the same shoe to the cart, and checkout instantly.
There’s every probability your transaction will get declined. What you should do is play around on the shopping site for a while. Add one or two random items to the cart and remove them as if you’re a real shopper trying to decide on what to actually buy. After some time, you can complete the purchase to bypass 3D secure.
Read Also: How To Bypass CVV code
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
How do you use a card without 3D Secure?
Card payment procedure without 3D Secure technology Number of Your bank card (from 12 to 19 digits) The validity period of your card - month / year. Cardholder name - in exact accordance with the data on your card. CVV2 / CVC2 Code — is last three digits, located on the signature strip, or next to the signature bar.
Can I disable 3D Secure?
Log into the Customer Area > Risk > Dynamic 3D Secure. Find all your Dynamic 3DS rules. Simply turn on/off the toggle to enable/disable each rule.
How do I unblock 3D Secure services?
3D secure Topics You may also go to Customer Service > Service Requests > Credit Cards > Modification Related > Unblock Credit Card for 3D Secure Services > Select card number > submit.
Can I make my card 3D Secure?
Activate. The bank that issued your Visa card will activate 3-D Secure for you automatically. Upon activation, 3-D Secure protects you at every participating online store. When you shop online at a participating merchant, your card will be automatically recognised as protected by 3-D Secure.
Older 3D Secure versions, like 3DS version 1.0 (many online shops still use this version worldwide), have some weaknesses anyone can exploit. Now, there’s a newer version called 3DS 2. It is tougher to get through.
However, it’s not completely foolproof. They can still use clever tactics to bypass 3D secure, like pretending to be someone they’re not.
Dishonest people also use phishing pages to trick cardholders into providing their passwords and PINs. They might trick you into giving away your information, and then use it to buy things online.