Despite the introduction of secure technology and advanced industry measures like EMV chip cards, Near Field Communication (NFC) and digital wallets, credit card fraud remains a credible threat to both businesses and individuals. Consumers are still at risk of having their credit card accounts used fraudulently on a daily basis. This is a particularly sensitive area, especially if you have ever been a victim of these types of crimes and been scammed yourself. This article will examine the definition of credit card fraud, give advice on how to prevent it from happening and provide information about what to do if your card is lost or stolen. 


The Definition


Credit card fraud involves someone making unauthorized purchases on your credit or debit card account. A thief could do this with criminal activity having stolen the card or found a card number and taken the opportunity to exploit it. Alternatively, the fraud could be by someone you know who is making payments and purchases without your knowledge or permission.


Mobile and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google pay are classed as two of the safest methods of payment available but credit fraud is possible in this manner with payments like EFT and ACH.


Credit Fraud Examples


To identify threats and come up with solutions to neutralise these risks, it is important to enhance your understanding of the different types of card terminal fraud and credit fraud. These examples will improve your awareness in some unexpected situations;


  • When any shop you have visited and made a purchase in is hacked, your card number could be stolen from the e-commerce site itself.
  • A thief could find account numbers in the trash if you have not shredded letters from the bank or any confidential financial documents you haven’t disposed of properly.
  • If you log in through an unsecured WiFi network, a scammer can hack into your accounts.
  • If you are still using the magnetic stripe on your credit card for transactions, criminals can use skimmers attached to point-of-sale payment terminals to access your credit card information.


Is Credit Fraud Identifiable?

To identify and stop credit card fraud, specific measures and procedures have been installed by banks as a preventative action. When unusual activity is detected, you will usually receive a call from your credit card provider or bank to verify the movements. 


For example, if you live in Sheffield and activity on your card is picked up in Bournemouth it will raise suspicions. If your provider or bank isn’t aware of any trips or holidays then they will treat this as unusual and place a temporary block on the card. However annoying this, the inconvenience is minor compared to dealing with full-scale fraud on your account. The stop is rectified with a simple phone call where predetermined security questions that you answer with personal information can unlock the block and the operator can remove it instantly. Purchases of large items and anything that does not match the usual trend in spending habits can also trigger a provider into this preventative action.


How Do I Prevent Credit Card Fraud?


There are two really easy starting points. 


Firstly, ensure you regularly review your account statements and monitor the activity levels week by week and month by month. Any anomalies can be highlighted and you will soon see a trend or pattern in your spending. This makes identifying a fraudulent transaction even simpler. 


Secondly, you can set up alerts for purchases over a certain amount. It is worth noting that thieves often process a small payment first to see if they get caught out before attempting larger numbers. Alternatively, you can set your account to be notified of any purchase of any value if you wanted to be extra cautious.


Defence mechanisms in the digital age are astounding but even with their top-level encryptions, the supreme technical skill of some intelligence hackers makes it hard to categorically state they are completely impenetrable. Someone could access your card information if there were to be a major data breach at any established e-commerce site, even if you made a secure purchase at the time.


Procedures For The Victims Of Credit Fraud


Support systems and helplines along with smart-technology make recovering from credit card fraud is easier than ever before with unsociable hours and shifts work so prominent in today’s society. The first action required is obviously to inform your bank by reporting the fraudulent charges. 

Try to keep your composure upon the discovery and make a log of all fraudulent activity without missing anything. By reviewing bank statements and movement in and out of the account, you should be able to spot anything suspicious. Aim to check and verify all transactions for around the previous 60 days to be certain nothing slips the net.


As long as you report them within 60 days, you won’t be held liable for fraudulent credit card charges. Massive companies such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover all have zero-liability fraud policies so as long as you report charges quickly, you may not have to pay any of the charges. Additionally, your credit card provider may recommend you file a police report for the fraudulent activity.


Check your other accounts for fraudulent activity because if a criminal managed to get their hands on one of your cards, the possibility they got more than one remains. It is worth double-checking to be sure. It is a sensible move to change passwords where they are stored online, especially those with financial implications like bank apps or shopping apps with saved data.


Final Thoughts


No amount of technology or manual checking is going to keep you 100% safe 24hours a day. Everyone is susceptible to crime and that vulnerability will always linger over us. The more cautious and protective you can be, the better. Arm yourselves with as much defensive prowess as possible. This can be heightened online security, a state of the art EPOS system with the latest encryptions services and software from XEPOS or just being vigilant in your daily routine. Ultimately, the bonus is on you to bear and to be as safe as you can whilst controlling things you are able to.