What is Credit Card Fraud?
Identity theft, cybersecurity breach, accounts forgery, stealing – these are not just random crimes I have listed here. These are some of the most common crimes associated with credit card frauds.
A credit card fraud is committed when someone somehow manages to get your credit card details and use them for their own purposes.
Fraudsters and scammers somehow manage to get their hands dirty as they have always been good with figuring out a loophole in a technology. And guess what – there exist multiple loopholes in the credit card payment systems.
I understand that we do not have any control over our information stored on a credit card company’s server in case of a security breach. However, if we stay a little vigilant and aware of these scams and tricks the fraudsters play, we can stay a step ahead of them and beat them in their own game.
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7 Most Common Credit Card Fraud examples
Here is a list of most common credit card frauds and scams that you should be aware of:
- Fake Call Fraud: Scammers will call you acting as an agent of revenue services or as your bank employee and will try to steal your credit card information from you over the call.
- Application Fraud: When other people apply for a credit card in your name. This is a form of identity theft wherein the fraudster will try to use your personal information to get a credit card.
3. CNP (Card Not Present) Fraud: Fraudsters can commit a scam if they are aware of your expiry date and card number without the card. Furthermore, there are only 999 combinations of a security code, so the scammers keep trying with a smaller payment amount (unnoticeable). It is recommended to keep an eye on your credit card statements for payments you have not authorized.
4. Counterfeit Card Fraud: This one is committed using a counterfeit magnetic swipe card. This card is essentially a copy of the original with a magnetic strip with your information.
5. Mail Non-Receipt Card Fraud: Scammers here intercept the mail carrying your new/replaced credit card and will use it to make purchases.
6. Doctored Cards: Fraudsters will use a strong magnet to erase all the information stored in the magnetic strip and use this damaged card. It is easier for them to pretend that the magnetic strip does not work and will try to get the details entered manually.
7. Account Takeover: One of the most common forms of credit card scams. The criminal usually obtains account information and relevant documents via a cyber-attack on credit card company’s server. They will then use this information to get a new credit card on your name to a new address which they use as per their wish.
How to Prevent Credit Card Frauds?
Now that we have discussed these 7 types of frauds, let’s see how we can prevent these from occurring.
Starting from the obvious, it is advisable for everyone to keep their credit card details (card number, expiry date, CVV number, personal identification number (PIN)) safe. Your bank or credit card company will never ask you for your personal card details over the call, those are always delivered to you via protected mail.
You must always also keep the card with yourself. Do not leave the card unattended or hand it to anyone unknown. Protect your card like you will protect your cash.
Tips While Using Your Card at Stores/POS Systems:
- Try to limit the number of cards you carry with you at a time
- Cover the keypad while entering your PIN
- Press random numbers on the keypad after entering your pin and pressing ok, if a scammer is trying to steal the pins using the wireless tech they would see a series of a random number instead of a 4-digit pin, in most cases scammers would ignore this entry
- Report anything suspicious about the device or ATM machine
Tips to Stay Vigilant at Home:
- Keep your mailbox locked at all times
- Sign the back of your card as soon as you receive it
- Destroy old credit cards that are no longer valid
- Keep your credit card statements in a safe place
- Destroy your credit card statements when you no longer need them
How to prevent credit card theft online:
- Before proceeding with the payment online, check that the web address starts with https
- Use only trusted websites while making a purchase
- Keep your anti-virus, firewall and spyware systems updated
- Never share your credit card info via emails
- Avoid using public computers at libraries or internet cafes for online shopping
- Avoid using public wifi for making purchases
How to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Avoid giving out credit card information over the phone
- Scammers call you acting as your bank employee, credit card company employee or revenue services employee, always contact these organizations yourself before giving out any information to them
- Only give credit card information to the companies you trust
- Request more information from the caller
Protecting your credit card information is your responsibility, but when the time is bad no one can do anything to prevent the inevitable. If in case you fall prey to any such frauds here are some of the things you must do as soon as you become aware of the fraud:
What to do when your identity is stolen?
- Make a note of what happened, when it happened and when was it that you became aware of the fraud
- Contact your credit card issuer to notify about the scam
- Contact your local police to file a complaint
- Arrange for all the documents you think will be necessary for a police investigation
Apart from all this, if you ever come across any such scam or about some scammer, do your bid to share about it on social media platforms with your family and friends. Being aware is the strongest precaution you can take against credit card frauds.