Fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to trick us and unfortunately today, credit card scams are still some of the most common types of fraud that take place, costing the British public millions each year. Understanding a criminals’ tactics and learning how to keep ourselves safe from falling victim to these scams can make things harder for these fraudsters to get away with it in the future. So here are some of the credit card scams that continue to fool people and ways in which you can stay protected.
So, you’re at the cash machine and it’s gone and swallowed your card. How annoying. You’re going to have to go without it for at least a week whilst you wait to get a new one. But is that actually what’s happened? You could in fact have just been part of a card trapping scam. With this type of scam, criminals attach a device to the card slot at an ATM machine so when you enter your card, it will hold onto it so you cannot get it back. As you enter your PIN details, the criminal will be stood keeping a close eye on you to see the 4 digits you’re about to enter.
If you’re about to take cash out and something looks suspicious use another machine instead and report it to either the bank or the police. Similarly, if you see somebody loitering near a cash machine, avoid using it. When you do find a machine safe to use, make sure you shield your pin and if your card is swallowed, contact your card issuer straight away.
Online Shopping Fraud
The convenience and ease of online shopping continues to increase in popularity with almost three quarters of Brits now doing their shopping online. Unfortunately, this means that online fraud has also increased and it is now the type of fraud that costs the British public the most at over £163 million in 2013. Unlike using a card at an ATM or in store, when you shop online you’re not asked to input your four digit PIN, meaning fraudsters only need your card details to make any online transactions.
To keep yourself protected online just ensure that you’re mindful when making online purchases. Before you put in your card details, make sure that you are on a secure site, which can be identified if you see the start of the web address as ‘https.’ Also, avoid making payments on public computers and make sure that your own computer is protected by anti-virus software as well as any free security software that your bank offers you.
Telephone/ Mail Order Fraud
Where the introduction of Chip and PIN has helped make things harder for criminals to commit credit card fraud, similar to online shopping, telephone and mail orders do not require you to enter a PIN when making a purchase. So, if a criminal obtains your card details, they’re free to spend away.
To ensure criminals don’t get hold of your card details keep your card out of sight when in public and never under any circumstances give your full account or card details to anyone. Anyone asking for card details, such as card issuers and banks will never ask or expect the full details from you. As an extra precaution, keep an eye on your bank statements and report any suspicious transactions to your bank as soon as you spot them.