Stay safe from these credit card frauds

7 MinsJan 01, 2021

Credit cards are a powerful payment instrument as they allow you to easily avail an instant line of short-term credit while making transactions. This helps increase your purchasing power, while also offering benefits like ease of use, reward points and cashback. Regular, on-time payments can also improve your credit score which leads to easier long-term loan approvals. However, alongside all these merits, credit cards also run the risk of being targeted for fraud. While there are several types of credit card frauds, there are safeguards you can put in place to protect your money. Let us see how.

card frauds

PoS Fraud

In this type of fraud, small skimming devices are attached to normal Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices to hack your data. These devices scan and store the card information while the customer completes a swipe transaction. Usually, this involves a merchant or store employee who shares these details with malicious actors. Similar attachments may also be fastened on to ATM card slots to clone card information, while a camera is secretly placed over the keypad to capture your PIN.

What you should do: Watch out for suspicious devices connected to PoS units. Always shake or jiggle the slot to see if a cloning attachment comes loose and always cover the keypad with your other hand while entering the PIN. 

On NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled PoS machines, you can simply tap the card to pay. This significantly reduces the skimming risk. Further, transactions lesser than Rs 2000 can be completed without the hassle of keying in the PIN. This will also reduce the chance of your PIN getting captured. You can enable/disable the option via your Axis Bank Mobile App.

Phishing and vishing

These involve impersonating official communication from the bank which in turns acts as a bait for you to click on false links. This will usually take you to websites that look authentic. Once you enter your card details on these fake links, fraudsters can access the details and use them for their benefit. Another version is when fraudsters impersonate bank officials on phone calls, asking you to share an OTP to ‘verify your card’ or ‘avail the reward points’ or ‘extend the validity of your reward points.’

What you should do: Always verify the URL and never click suspicious links. Always use your bank’s official website for any online transaction or contact your bank’s official helpline numbers directly. Also, report the telephone/mobile number from where you received fake calls to your bank. 

[Also Read: How To Apply For A Credit Card Online And Enjoy Best Deals]

Keystroke logging

Today, since most financial transactions are online, hackers have started relying on keystroke logging through malicious software to grab credit card details. This usually begins after you have clicked on a suspicious link and unknowingly installed malware on your system. The software records every key pressed on the system, eventually stealing card details, PIN and more.

What you should do: Use the virtual keyboard available in your operating system. Again, never click suspicious links that may install applications from untrustworthy sources. Use reliable antivirus software on your system for an added layer of protection.

Application fraud

This is a type of identity theft where fraudulent actors impersonate a genuine customer by using their stolen or counterfeited documents to obtain a credit card. While this might be detected after thorough background checks, if carried out, this will allow criminals to use a valid credit card with a false paper trail. A similar type of fraud involves taking over a valid credit card account by posing as the customer using a similar fake paper trail.

What you should do: Keep track of all your documents and destroy redundant copies before disposal to protect yourself from these types of frauds.

Theft or loss of card

If your physical credit card gets stolen or misplaced, there are chances it could be misused. There are precautions you can take in advance as well as safeguards you can put in place even after it is stolen.

Precautions to take:

• Always memorise your CVV and scratch it off the card to avoid misuse in case it is stolen or misplaced.

• Set up alerts for all transactions so that you can be notified for any unwanted purchases on your card.

• Use credit card protection services such as the one provided by Axis Bank for your Axis Bank Credit Card.

Steps to take if card is stolen:

• Immediately block your card using your mobile banking app or by calling your bank’s helpline number. This will help in tracing/investigating the fraud faster and also ensure that you are covered under ‘zero-liability’ for fraudulent transactions.

• Remove the compromised/stolen/misplaced card from any online shopping account where it might be saved. Since the attackers are likely to have access to your card details, they may also have access to your online accounts.

• Double-check the security on all online accounts where your card was used or saved. This can secure your accounts and also keep other saved details safe from possible fraud in the future.

• Register a complaint with the police, as this can help resolve fraudulent transactions faster. Contact your lender and get them to update your credit report to avoid any damage to your credit score due to fraud.

• Keep an eagle eye on your financial activity. You might be able to spot further abnormalities that may lead you to detect other instances of fraud on your account.

Treat your card like any other valuable or cash in your wallet. Familiarise yourself with all security features available on your card. Use it with care and stay financially safe.

Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence the views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision