Credit Card Fraud is on the rise: Learn how to protect yourself

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April 5, 2021

Financial Fraud

iSpent19 joins Take Five in spreading the message to help protect the nation against financial fraud. Take Five to Stop Fraud is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud including card fraud.
Image by Take Five to Stop Fraud

Hardly anything can replace the convenience of purchasing your favourite items from the comfort of your own home. For that reason, people have almost fully replaced traditional shopping in stores with electronic payments. In other words, consumer spending habits have tremendously changed in the past few years. In fact, online shopping has become one of the most common activities for many, especially since the pandemic. And in most cases, buyers choose the option of credit card payment which quite often makes them possible victims of fraud. As a result, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a significant rise in credit card fraud. 

Credit Card Fraud Recent Trends and Statistics

According to numerous credit card fraud reports, this trend has been constantly growing and has a tendency to grow even more. But, what is credit card fraud actually? – In conventional terms, it is one of the most common types of identity theft where a person steals someone’s credit card accounts and charges them without the owner’s permission. If you’ve ever noticed unauthorised charges from your credit card it is very likely that you have been a victim of credit card fraud.

Based on the research conducted by Statista, in 2019 the total value of annual fraud losses on all UK issued credit and debit cards has reached the amount of 620.6 million pounds. Only in 2020, UK Finance found that credit card fraud losses alone have peaked at £574.2 million and a bigger concern here is the new methods deployed by and the volume of attacks rendered by fraudsters, who are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis, are on the rise. Namely, there has been a loss of £479.0 million by authorised push payment (APP) fraud in the same year. The predictions are even worse as experts expect a 25% increase in payment fraud globally with a projected loss of £29.25 billion by 2027

Having this in mind, it cannot be stressed enough that it’s important to take precautions when using your credit card at any place. 

How to prevent credit card fraud and other fraudulent attempts on your money?

So, how to protect yourself from credit card fraud? Basically, anyone who is using this method of electronic payment is a potential victim. Therefore everyone needs to be aware of this threat and follow these simple steps to prevent credit card fraud. 

  • Use your credit card only on trusted websites that use encrypted security. Pay attention to the URL of the website and make sure it’s secure, i.e. the URL starts with “https://”; avoid making payments from public places or using a public computer; and always take screenshots from your online payment.
  • When trying to buy a bargain from an unknown website, try to see its user rating from reviews sites like Trustpilot.
  • Save all your receipts to keep track of your payments.
  • Monitor your bank accounts regularly.
  • Set up alerts for card payments from your bank.
  • Check your credit report frequently.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links received by unknown sources as you can fall victim to phishing scams. Having antivirus software running in your devices would also help.
  • Try money management apps such as iSpent19. Guang, its founder, has recognised the need for such an app after he has experienced credit card fraud himself not only once, but twice. The purpose of iSpent19 is to help you keep track of all your financial activities, to offer you a personalised financial management experience, and to allow you to easily monitor your bank transactions.
  • Last but not the least, banks will never ask for your personal banking credentials over the phone. If someone calls you about it, in fact questioning anything about you as a person, and you are unsure about their identity. Politely hand up and call the bank directly to clarify instead.

iSpent19 is an excellent tool that can be useful in fraud prevention. Imagine that you have the convenience of linking all your current accounts in it, upload receipts of your transactions or adding other personal earmarks to any transaction so that you have your own audit trail and have them all in one place. In other words, even though banks deploy expensive algorithms in their systems to detect frauds, fraudsters can still find ways to evade detection. Can’t beat one’s own diligence in keeping track of their own finances regularly, which can now be done very easily! 

iSpent19 allows you to take control of your financial data using open banking security technology. In this way, you can track all your current accounts and credit cards in one app and be aware of any unrecognised activities and act on them immediately.

iSpent19 Episode #1: How to prevent credit card fraud?

What to do if you are a victim of credit card fraud?

Sadly, despite all these taken precautions, there is still a certain risk of credit card fraud. Thus it’s important to understand what are the necessary steps that you need to take if the worst-case scenario happens and you experience this type of fraud.

  • Contact your card issuer immediately – Look for the toll-free number that is usually placed on the back of the credit card, that is if you still have the card with you and you have been a victim of online credit card fraud. Or you can simply check the company’s website and find the contact number there. 
  • Set up a fraud alert – Do this by contacting the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre – Action Fraud using their online reporting tool or on their contact number 0300 123 2040.
  • Report the financial scam to the FCA – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can help with any investment, financial, or credit card scams. 

Fundamentally, reporting the credit card fraud to authorities not only will give you evidence to your bank that you have taken proper action to follow up on the fraud, but it will also help other individuals from being targeted by criminals. These institutions will take proper procedures to catch the perpetrators, do their best to give you your money back, and protect you from future possible crimes.

iSpent19 supports Take Five to protect against credit card fraud
Image by Take Five to Stop Fraud

Conclusion

Ultimately, experiencing credit card fraud is stressful and frustrating. For that reason, you need to pay attention to how you manage your money and make online transactions. If you are still unsure how to prevent credit card skimming keep in mind that you need to be always extra careful with your finances. Don’t lend your card to anyone and avoid giving out your account information over the phone or using it on unknown websites. 

Finally, why not try the iSpent19 app. This solution will significantly simplify your money management experience and can help you track all payments immediately. In that way, you can act on time in case of suspicious transactions. Feel free to register on https://ispent19.com/ and test it as we build more features to support our users’ needs for a more personalised financial management experience. 

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