According to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), there was a recorded increase in fraud cases of almost 30% during the pandemic. As more people have adopted online transactions, fraudsters found a way to trick many cardholders into sharing their personal information and using it to steal money through unauthorized transactions.
Along with the rise of e-commerce is the growth of online payments. While some shops offer cash on delivery payments, consumers now find it more convenient to opt for cashless transactions. However, issues on security and data privacy still persist.
CCAP shared the different types of credit card fraud that customers should watch out for.
Phishing and vishing
Phishing and Vishing are some of the most common types of credit card fraud in the country. Phishing comes in the form of emails, fake job search sites, banner ads, fake browser toolbars, text messages, and chat room messages. Vishing, which is another type of phishing, happens in the form of phone calls from scammers pretending to be bank representatives. With phishing and vishing, scammers lure their victims into giving their sensitive data by offering fake and too-good-to-be-true promotions or even by claiming that the account has been compromised and will be blocked.
What to do: Carefully examine the emails and text messages that you receive and do not click on the links right away. For suspicious emails or text messages, contact your bank immediately to verify if the message you received is valid. At the same time, listen carefully to the phone calls you get as scammers can also claim to be bank representatives. When in doubt, it’s better to ignore and not entertain them. Never give your sensitive information to anyone, especially when visiting unverified websites.
Lost or stolen cards
Whoever gets a lost card will have access to your credit cards and can use them to make unauthorized transactions under your name. You can only hope that someone with a good heart finds it and returns it to you, but that may not always be the case.
What to do: If this happens to you, contact your bank right away and report your lost or stolen cards so the bank can block your accounts immediately. Cardholders should treat their cards like cash. Don’t place your wallet in areas where it can be easily seen and stolen. It is also helpful to have a different pouch for cards and cash so that you do not lose everything if anything happens to your wallet.
Card replacement scam
You received a call from someone asking you to surrender your credit card because it is due for a replacement and an upgrade. The last time you checked your credit card was working fine. Since it sounds enticing that you’re getting an upgrade, you willingly submit and give up your card. But it’s a scam. Now you don’t have your card and the bill is stacking up because a scammer is using it to make expensive purchases.
What to do: Always be careful with calls or messages you receive concerning your credit card or bank account. Remember, banks will never ask you to surrender your card even if it is up for replacement. Instead, they will ask you to destroy it or to go to their branch to give you the replacement card.
You are out of cash and you need to go to an automated teller machine (ATM). You find the nearest one, insert your card, and withdraw cash. Little did you know, the machine was rigged. Fraudsters installed a device on the machine to skim your card’s magnetic stripe which contains all your sensitive information. Or maybe, you are shopping for a nice bag at the mall and you use your credit card to pay for it. However, the cashier’s credit card terminal has already been tampered with, giving fraudsters access to your account.
What to do: Banks have upgraded their credit cards’ microchips and switched to EMV technology, making it harder for skimming devices to collect information from your card. However, cardholders should remain vigilant. Always make sure that all of your credit card transactions happen in your presence. Keep on checking ATMs for skimming devices by shaking the card scanners before inserting your card.
Other ways you can protect yourself from fraudsters and scammers:
- One way is to avoid using public WIFI when conducting credit card transactions. It’s difficult to determine if these free WIFI connections have been hacked by fraudsters who are waiting for people to expose their sensitive information.
- Another is to ensure that your issuer has your updated contact information so they can reach you for any suspicious and unusual account activities. Remember that issuers will call you to verify transactions, but will not ask for your sensitive information.
- When you encounter suspicious activities or unexpected declined transactions, immediately call your bank to check and advise them. You can also use your bank’s mobile app to track your activities. If it has the lock/unlock feature, choose to lock the card when not in use for increased safety. Always be on the lookout as well for notifications from your issuers.
- Overall, the very key to avoiding scams is to make sure that your account details are always secured and inaccessible to the public. Never share your personal and sensitive information, like your CVV or one-time-pin (OTP), with anyone. Fraudsters will never be able to take over your account if they do not have these important pieces of information.
- As cardholders, you should take control of your credit card transactions and be extra vigilant before engaging in any online transaction as it is one of the prevalent ways that fraudsters can gain access to your sensitive information.