5 things you should know about credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a prevalent problem in the UK, and the number of scams used to commit this kind of crime continues to grow each year. From telephone calls and suspicious-looking emails to cash point tampering, consumers have to be vigilant with their financial information at every turn. If you’re searching for useful information on how to keep your cards safe, here are five things you should know.

1. Your card can be “stolen” while it’s still in your purse. Most people are familiar with the classic case of having a credit card stolen from their purse or their pocket. However, with new technology and card scams becoming more clever than ever, most of the fraud that takes place now happens while your card is still tucked away safely. The first thing you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this fraud is to find out about the various ways that a fraudster can take advantage of you.

2. Your card information can be stolen at a cash point — even if you’re looking over your shoulder. One such type of scam is cashpoint fraud. This involves high-tech fraudsters fitting these cash machines with card readers of their own that can record your card’s magnetic strip for duplication and later use. Scammers may also install an overhead camera to record you entering your PIN number at the same time so that they can use your card without interference. The best way to avoid this kind of fraud is to use cashpoints inside of a bank rather than ones that provide external access.

3. Your email is a fraudster’s favourite weapon. Some fraudsters will send out emails pretending to be a major bank and ask its clients for their account information. They can then use this info to withdraw money. To avoid this scam, you should have a clear understanding about your bank’s contact policies. Most banks will never send an email asking for your personal information or account details, and you should only give these details over the phone, during a call that you initiated to your bank.

4. You could be a victim of card fraud without even knowing it. Sometimes you can be a victim of credit card fraud without knowing it for months or years. You might think of all of those credit card offers you receive in the mail as simply junk, but if they get into the hands of the wrong person, it can wreak havoc on your credit score. To prevent would-be scammers from responding to one of those offers in your name, keep a close eye on your mailbox, and ask your neighbours to do the same. You should also check your credit report once a year so that you can find out about any fraudulent financial activity in your name.

5. There are laws that protect you. The Payments Council assures any victims of card fraud that The Banking Code will provide for a replacement of funds at no cost to the card holder. And the network that controls all cash points in the UK, LINK, also ensures a replacement of funds for cashpoint fraud.

These laws were put in place because sometimes it is inevitable to avoid becoming a fraud target. However, you should do everything you can to keep your money safe. And that starts with knowing the facts. If you have been a victim of fraud and want more advice, contact a reputable law firm like IrwinMitchell.

Source: Irwin Mitchell