With the popularity of online shopping increasing, credit and debit card fraud is on the rise. Find out how fraud is committed and how to stay protected.
Credit card fraud is when a criminal uses stolen card information including, card number and personal data, in order to make unauthorised transactions. There are many ways for fraudsters to get access to the information on your card. The first line of defense against fraud is to learn about the techniques used. Below are some of the methods criminals utilize:
- Phishing attacks consist of tricking victims into opening an email, instant message or text message by masquerading as a trusted entity. A malicious link is embedded into the message, which the recipient is tricked into clicking. Malware is then installed and used by the scammers to reveal personal information.
- Free Wi-Fi hot spots are commonplace nowadays, but be aware. These could be created by fraudsters. Your credit card details and logging in data can be easily obtained, if you access your credit card online or make a purchase through their internet connection.
- Online skimming is the cyber version of traditional card skimming, the implementation of card reading slips on cash machines. Instead of physically attaching a scanning device, hackers implement harmful codes onto internet shops. The spyware reads the credit card data that clients input when buying online. Cybercriminals then use this data for their own purchases or sell it on the black market
Keeping a few things in mind when using a payment card can prevent you from becoming a victim. Being vigilant and following a few simple steps will help to keep your cards safe.
- Never write down payment card PIN numbers. Do not share them with others
- Sign your card
- Do not let your card out of sight when making card payments (e.g. in a shop)
- Keep your pin hidden when withdrawing money from a cash machine or paying in-store
- Buy online from reputable companies. Ensure the website has the https:// code and a padlock icon at the beginning of the web address before entering your card details
- Never open an email, text message or instant message from an untrusted sender
- Do not throw your personal documents and information related to your financial affairs in the bin. Burn or shred them
- Check and monitor your transaction history regularly
- Avoid online transactions on public computers or using public Wi-Fi networks
- Make sure you have an updated system and antivirus software on the devices on which you trade online
- Take action - as soon as you notice something unusual contact your bank or financial institution and report your suspicion
- If you don't plan any travel (foreign transactions) or online purchase shortly, you may consider suspending this features
- If you are not planning a trip (transactions abroad) and online shopping in the near future, consider temporarily blocking your card