1 in 9 Brits is a victim of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a huge problem in the UK. Here’s why it’s an issue, and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your money.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Cropped shot of a senior woman looking upset after an argument with her husband

Image source: Getty Images

A worrying one in nine Brits has been a victim of credit card fraud, according to research by Uswitch. But what is credit card fraud, and how can you protect yourself against common scams? Let’s take a look at what the research shows. 

[top_pitch]

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

One notable billionaire made 99% of his current wealth after his 50th birthday. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe it is NEVER too late to start trying to build your fortune in the stock market. Our expert Motley Fool analyst team have shortlisted 5 companies that they believe could be a great fit for investors aged 50+ trying to build long-term, diversified portfolios.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

How common is credit card fraud in the UK?

This kind of fraud is very common, unfortunately. In fact, according to the research by Uswitch, the UK has the highest rate of credit card fraud in Europe, with an average of £8,908 (€10,414) lost per 1,000 Brits. From Uswitch’s own UK-wide poll, we learned that:

  • 50% of respondents have lost money through fraud 
  • 45% of respondents have suffered identity theft at some point 

The most troubling part of all this? Despite the evidence, one in five Brits assumes that credit card fraud won’t affect them. So, although fraud is a hugely common problem in the UK, there’s a worrying amount of complacency. 

With all this in mind, here’s how you can detect fraudulent activity and shop more safely online. 

How can I spot credit card fraud?

This kind of fraud is not always easy to spot, but here are two of the best ways to detect fraud. 

  1. Check your credit report regularly. If you notice unusual activity, this could be a sign of fraud.
  2. Look over your bank and credit card statements. Spot a transaction you don’t recognise? Report it right away. 

Your bank can give you more information on detecting fraud and phishing scams. 

[middle_pitch]

Where do I report credit card fraud?

To protect your card and secure your account, it’s important to act quickly.

  • Contact your credit card company. They’ll block your card so no one can use it, and they’ll explain what happens next.
  • Report the incident to Action Fraud. This can help keep other people safe from common online scams.

How do I avoid becoming a victim of fraud?

Whether you’re trying to prevent credit card fraud or identity theft, there are a few steps you can take to stay safer: 

  • Be careful where you shop: Before you buy anything online, make sure it’s a legitimate website. If you’re in any doubt, shop elsewhere. 
  • Don’t share personal information on social media: Be careful how much information you share on social media platforms (e.g. your home address or telephone number). 
  • Use strong passwords: Strong passwords include a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols. You should change your passwords regularly and always keep them safe.  
  • Avoid clicking unknown attachments: Received an email you weren’t expecting? Don’t click any links or open any attachments – it could be a phishing scam.  
  • Don’t let anyone take your credit card: If you’re in a pub or restaurant, don’t let your server take your credit card away to process payment. Ensure you can see your card at all times.
  • Only use https websites: If a URL opens with ‘https’, it’s an encrypted website, which means your private data is more secure.  

Takeaway

There’s no doubt that credit card fraud is a huge concern for everyone, but it’s still possible to shop safely online. Just ensure you’re aware of the dangers and take steps to protect your data when you use the internet. Check your statements regularly, too, and flag up any concerns with your bank.

And finally, remember this: if anything feels ‘wrong’, trust your instinct. Don’t complete the transaction. Instead, contact your bank or credit card company immediately. 

Is this little-known company the next ‘Monster’ IPO?

Right now, this ‘screaming BUY’ stock is trading at a steep discount from its IPO price, but it looks like the sky is the limit in the years ahead.

Because this North American company is the clear leader in its field which is estimated to be worth US$261 BILLION by 2025.

The Motley Fool UK analyst team has just published a comprehensive report that shows you exactly why we believe it has so much upside potential.

But I warn you, you’ll need to act quickly, given how fast this ‘Monster IPO’ is already moving.

Click here to see how you can get a copy of this report for yourself today

More on Personal Finance

Note paper with question mark on orange background
Personal Finance

Should you invest your ISA in a model portfolio?

Which model ISA portfolios offer both high performance and low fees? Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell go under…

Read more »

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background
Personal Finance

Is it time to exit emerging markets investments?

Investors may well be sitting on losses from emerging markets funds. Is it worth keeping the faith for a sustained…

Read more »

Personal Finance

Share trading? Three shares with turnaround potential

Share trading has been difficult in 2022, but which companies have turnaround potential? Jo Groves takes a closer look at…

Read more »

Man using credit card and smartphone for purchasing goods online.
Personal Finance

Revealed! Why Gen Z may be the savviest generation when it comes to credit cards

New research reveals that Gen Z may be the most astute when it comes to credit cards. But why? And…

Read more »

Environmental technology concept.
Personal Finance

The 10 best-performing sectors for ISA investors

The best-performing sectors over the past year invested in real assets such as infrastructure, but is this trend set to…

Read more »

Road sign warning of a risk ahead
Personal Finance

Recession risk ‘on the rise’: is it time for investors to worry?

A major global bank has suggested the risk of a recession in the UK is 'on the rise'. So, should…

Read more »

pensive bearded business man sitting on chair looking out of the window
Personal Finance

1 in 4 cutting back on investments amid cost of living crisis

New research shows one in four investors have cut back on their investing contributions to cope with the rising cost…

Read more »

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Personal Finance

The 10 most popular stocks among UK investors so far this year

As the new tax year kicks off, here's a look at some of the most popular stocks among UK investors…

Read more »