Credit card fraud is evolving in the digital age. With more protection from potential scams, it might seem like the fraudsters’ days are numbered. However, so much of life and business is now carried out online that criminals have unprecedented levels of opportunity for scamming. What’s more, many users have grown complacent – we’re so used to using our cards to pay anywhere, both online and offline, that perhaps we’re not as vigilant as we used to be.
Unfortunately, credit card fraud is still something you need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the more common types of fraud and what you can do to protect yourself.
Common Types of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud can happen in many different ways. While we’ve included some of the most common types below, this is not an exhaustive list. Fraudsters may use a range of different methods, and techniques are evolving all the time.
Card skimming is a way for fraudsters to gain access to card information. When the card is inserted into a reader device, this device gains temporary access to the card information so that a payment can be made. However, if the reader has been modified for fraudulent purposes, the device may take the user’s information and store this for further use.
This is known as card skimming, and it can lead to other instances of credit card fraud – such as counterfeit card or card-not-present fraud.
With card-not-present fraud, a scammer gains access to the victim’s credit card number and information, including the CVV code on the signature strip. They then look for a merchant who offers credit card payments outside of a secure digital platform – such as phoned-through or emailed-in card detail payments.
As there are no robust security checks on this form of payment, it goes through, and the money is debited from the victim’s account. Increasing numbers of merchants are using secure platforms, making this form of fraud less common than it used to be, but it’s still a threat.
If a fraudster gains the victim’s card information, they can use this information to create a clone. This clone will be a counterfeit version of a physical card that criminals can use anywhere, including at an ATM, withdrawing large amounts of money or racking up a considerable bill at the victim’s expense.
A criminal may not need to actually come into contact with a card to steal its information. Fraudsters may create legitimate-looking emails that lead to websites that appear professional – for example, a fake version of your online banking page or a counterfeit copy of a trusted online retailer. The victim may not realise these pages are fake and may input their card information as normal, putting it at risk.
Protecting Yourself from Credit Card Fraud
How can you protect yourself from credit card fraud? Try to foster some of the following positive habits.
- Check your card statements regularly and look out for any unusual transactions.
- Look out for card terminals that seem to have been modified or look odd.
- Avoid swiping and scanning your card in untrustworthy locations.
- Use an email account with strong spam and phishing protection.
- Look for spelling mistakes, errors, or strange formatting in official emails.
- Look at the number or email address attached to messages and emails you receive – if it doesn’t match up with the customer service contact information you have, it’s probably fake.
- Use proactive phishing detection from providers like FraudWatch to bolster your defences.
Give Your Business the Protection it Needs
Since 2003, FraudWatch has been protecting Australia’s small and medium-sized businesses, offering dark web monitoring and malware defences across the finance, government, healthcare, retail, technology, media, sports and entertainment, transport, and telecommunications fields. You can rely on us to achieve a robust response against phishing and credit card fraud, so get in touch with our agents today.