Credit card fraud is one of the leading forms of fraud in the UK. According to Cifas, in 2019, 42% of all cases of identity fraud involved credit cards, up from 39% in 2018. With credit cards a crucial part of our finances – including our access to money, and the health of our credit ratings. Everyone must understand the risk involved in credit card fraud and the steps to prevent it.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud covers a wide range of criminal fraud activities that aim to steal people’s identities or money via their credit cards. It can mean stealing a card or card information and using it to pay for goods or services or withdrawing funds from the card’s account.
Types of credit card fraud
There are several types of credit card fraud to watch out for:
Whether lost or taken, this involves a criminal using someone else’s card without the original holder’s permission.
Theft of Card Details
Taking the details on the card and using them to purchase items or selling personal data to criminals.
Using the owner’s card to clone the details and then creating another card that can be used to commit fraudulent activity.
Fake Card Applications
Where an individual’s personal information is used to make applications for new credit cards, which are then sent to the criminal and used to commit fraudulent activity.
This involves fake emails, calls, or letters regarding your credit card, or an application for a credit card, that aims to steal your data or funds.
How to Prevent and Avoid Card Scams
To avoid credit card scams, there is a range of strategies you can utilize to protect yourself.
Firstly, check your bank statements regularly, keeping an eye out for fraudulent activity. Using an app can make this easier.
Keeping tabs on your cards is also crucial. If you’re consolidating your spending using an interest-free credit card, for instance, you should keep the card (and your personal details printed on it) secure when out and about. If a card like this is lost, you may not immediately realize it, so you must safeguard it from the get-go.
Lastly, be diligent. If an offer for money seems too good to be true, it probably is – a criminal may simply be trying to entice you to send them your card details so they can steal your information.And if you discover you have been hit by credit card fraud, contact your card company and bank, get the card blocked, then report it to Action Fraud, calling 0300 123 2040. You may be able to claim back the stolen money too.