The numbers of different credit cards enable the users to use revolving credit to make the purchases that they can’t do without credit facility. These credit cards are being used extensively for everyday spending, building a credit history, refinance current debts etc. The prime credit card types are 0% purchase cards, balance transfer cards, combined balance transfer – purchase cards, credit building cards, reward cards and low-rate cards etc. Almost 60% of British adults have at least one credit card. The market is widely segmented by credit risk levels between low-risk users and high-risk users. There exist more than 20 credit card agencies but the UK market is concentrated over four major agencies accounting two-third of an outstanding balance. As the usage of credit cards is increasing fast, the incidents of credit cards frauds are also increasing.
Increasing Incidents of Credit Cards Frauds:
According to a report made public on Thursday 9 August 2018, almost five million British people reported money stolen from bank account or credit card account in 2017 at the cost of £840 each. Shockingly, 27 % of victims even don’t know how they were cheated or hacked. The study reveals that cyber-fraud incidents in the UK have fallen during one year but the total money stolen by fraud has increased. Criminal strategies and tricks are continuously evolving as social media technology is doing. Credit cards users are widely concerned over the pre-populated credit card details used for online purchases. One-third of credit cards users have the credit card details saved with “auto-fill” technology while 50% of users are heavily concerned with the safety of such cards. Few users take action by approaching a provider after the incident, whilst all of us have a shared responsibility to keep our credit cards’ transaction secure.
How To Prevent Credit Cards Fraud:
- Keep the Credit Card Safe: Keeping the credit cards safe against stolen possibility is the simplest way to avoid any money fraud. Place the credit cards in wallet close to the body, where it can’t be easily snatched away. Fraudsters can take a photo of a credit card with a cell phone, so, never leave the credit card exposed longer than it is necessary.
- Shred Everything Related To Credit Card Number Properly: Never tosses the credit card statements into the dustbins without shredding; the credit card statement has credit card number printed. Shred it properly. Do the same with expired cancelled or unused cards.
- Never Sign the Blank Credit Card Receipt: Before signing the credit card receipt, verify the amount deducted. If you find blank space in credit card payment receipt, write £ 0 in the space or strike a line over the space. Otherwise, a cashier can write any amount to make a purchase and sending the dues to credit card issuer.
- Never Share Credit Cards Information: Don’t share the credit card number to anyone requesting over the phone. Never share the sensitive information over the phone even to the issuer’s call centre. Don’t respond to a phone number left on answering machine, mailed or texted.
- Be Safe Online With Credit Card: Do not click the email links that look similar to your bank, credit card agency or other agency that uses personal information. The emailed links are phishing links; scammers try to trick you for entering the login information over the fake website.
- Report Immediately for Stolen Credit Card: Take no time to report about the missing credit card so that the credit card issuer could cancel it to prevent fraudulent transactions. Reporting early lowers the chances to pay for the transactions made by fraudsters.
- Review the Statement Each Month: Unauthorized charge is the first sign of fraud. If you ever notice even a small charge that you didn’t authorise, report to a credit card issuer. The agency will look into the matter to advise you accordingly.
- Make the password strong: The credit card number gets stored in numbers of online places. Make sure to use strong passwords with a combination of numbers, upper & lower-case characters and special characters.
If You Become Victim Of Credit Card Fraud
If you are an identity theft victim, when a criminal is committing fraud by using your personal information, you must alert the credit bureaus. In addition, you must put a “fraud alert” on the credit report even before contacting the credit card agency. Fraud alert stops the fraudster from opening a new account with your name. Change your online password and PIN immediately. Also, unlink your credit card from the online shopping websites.
Keep monitoring all the activities; even the small amounted unauthorized transaction should be reported. You should also file a report with the local police station in case of identity theft. Keep the copy of the report as a proof of crime; it will help you deal with the credit card issuer.
FTC handles the complaints from identity theft victims and refers the complaint to credit reporting & law enforcement agencies. FTC also refers the complaint to government agencies and agencies to take further action as well as to investigate.
The Consumer Credit Act covers the credit card theft; it states that the liability for unauthorised withdrawals lies with cardholder but it is capped at £50. Technically, even if a cardholder is found negligent with a PIN, a cardholder will pay only £50 to the losses incurred. If transactions are made after the reporting, a cardholder is not liable to pay any money. The legal protections and regulations entitle the card fraud victim for a refund.
Although the UK Govt. has enforced several laws and acts to prevent all the interests of credit cards users as well as to punish the culprits heavily; still, the card user is expected to follow every safety step. The changing of passwords and PIN on regular basis is a good practice. Don’t leave your credit card attached with so many shopping websites especially smaller ones. Protection is better than fighting a battle for minimising the loss and reimbursement.