There are many examples of credit card fraud that leave victims facing devastating financial loss and emotional distress. Credit card fraud occurs when a person’s credit card details are stolen to make fraudulent payments. Your details may also be sold on to other criminals.
Here, we explore four common examples of credit fraud and how to avoid being caught out by fraudsters.
1. Lost or stolen credit cards
If your credit card is lost or stolen, it can be used to make unauthorised payments if it falls into the wrong hands. This type of credit card fraud can be avoided by taking action quickly. It’s vital that you inform your credit card provider as soon as possible and ensure that your card is cancelled to prevent payments being made by fraudsters.
2. “Card-not-present” fraud
“Card-not-present” fraud, is when criminals steal your information and use your credit card details to make payments remotely. It is one of the most common examples of credit card fraud and can go on for a while before the cardholder notices.
Checking your credit card statement regularly can help you spot fraudulent transactions. Contact your credit card provider right away if you see any unusual payments, so it can investigate the payments and block any further transactions using your card.
Phishing is when you are called or emailed out of the blue asking for personal information. This information includes personal details, such as your date of birth and address, which can be used to make applications for things like credit cards, loans and mortgages in your name. They may also ask for security passwords or your credit card details, which can be used to make fraudulent payments.
Criminals usually pretend to be from your credit card provider or a trusted body to make their request for your personal details seem more convincing. This example of credit card fraud can be avoided by ignoring unsolicited messages and never sharing your personal details.
4. Card skimming
Card skimming is when your credit card details are copied without your knowledge using a small device. The machines used to skim cards are small, portable and often used in busy places like bars and restaurants. Like many examples of credit card fraud, this can be avoided by protecting your card details at all times.
It’s really important that you never hand over your card when making a payment. Letting your card out of sight increases the risk of someone making a counterfeit copy of your credit card details to make fraudulent payments.
What to do if you are affected by credit card fraud
If you think you’ve been affected by credit card fraud, it’s important to get help right away. First, inform your credit card provider and ensure that the affected card is cancelled. This will help prevent further fraudulent charges being made using your credit card and get your money reimbursed.
It’s important to report the incident to Action Fraud, who investigate credit card fraud and other scams, to help prevent the criminals striking again. It’s vital that you change the passwords and PINs on all of your credit cards and your debit cards too. If someone has been able to hack into one account, they may also have details for others as well.
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