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Credit Card Fraud…. Don’t Become a Victim.

Credit Card Fraud-Over £1 million a day is lost due to fraud on UK credit and debit cards.

Fraudulent cash machine withdrawals rose dramatically to over £60 million this year, on account of the use of skimming equipment, which copies card details, and hidden miniature cameras, which read cardholders’ PIN numbers at cash machines.

In order to cut credit card fraud, UK banks are now introducing the new chip and PIN cards, which means that all cardholders will use a PIN (personal identification number) along with a very secure chip card, from December 2004.

Counterfeit Credit Card Fraud – Most instances include skimming, where the data on the magnetic strip is electronically copied to a counterfeit card, without the cardholder’s knowledge, until they receive a statement showing purchases they didn’t make.

Skimming also occurs at retail outlets, restaurants, bars and petrol stations – where an employee skims a customer’s card while in his control and then sells the data to criminals who are able to make counterfeit cards.

Card Not Present Fraud- This type of credit card fraud increased in 2003 by £13 million in the UK, due to criminals obtaining card details, then making fraudulent remote transactions by phone, mail order, or the Internet. Credit Card Fraud-CNP…Is Increasing Rapidly in 2005 – Check the Details Here.

Mail Not Received Fraud- This fraud increased to £43.4m in 2003 and involves cards being stolen in the post, before the actual cardholder receives them. Shared letterboxes in apartment blocks, flats and students’ residences, are targets for this type of fraud. If delivery of your new card seems delayed, query it with your bank.

Credit Card Fraud Prevention UK

Being deprived of the use of your credit/debit cards, can be extremely disruptive and not always possible to prevent.
However here are a few tips, which can make it more difficult for a criminal to capture your card or PIN numbers.

  • Protect your card never lose sight of it when conducting a transaction.
  • Save receipts to compare with your bank statements on a regular basis and if you discover a strange transaction, report the matter to your card issuer in writing without delay.
  • Don’t forget to sign your new card on receipt and make sure that you cut up the old one. Never write down your PIN number and never divulge it to anyone, even if they profess to be from your financial institution.
  • Always destroy or shred your receipts from card transactions, which will prevent criminals who search through rubbish bins, from gathering information about you and your card details.
  • Your cheque book and credit cards should never be kept together.

Reporting Credit Card Fraud UK

If you lose your credit or debit cards or if they’ve been stolen, you must immediately call the card issuer(s). Many companies provide free phone numbers and a 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies.

By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorised charges. If a thief uses your PIN Number, or your card before you inform your card issuer it has been lost or stolen, the most you may have to pay is £50.

However if you have been negligent, e.g. by keeping your PIN number with the card, you would probably have to meet the loss.

How to Avoid Cash Machine Fraud 

  • Always be aware of others around you; if someone is behaving suspiciously, crowding or staring at you, abort the transaction and find another machine.
  • While at the machine don’t ask for, or accept help offered from strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted by any person trying to converse with you.
  • Examine the cash machine for any signs of interference and if at all suspicious, don’t use the machine and report it to the bank, the premises owner, or police at once.
  • Always stand near to the cash machine and take care to shield the keypad, to prevent anyone spying as you enter your PIN number.
  • If the cash machine retains your card, contact your bank without delay.
  • On completion, put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine.
  • Protect your cash machine receipts, and always destroy them before disposal.
  • Always stand well back from other machine users, allowing them privacy to enter their PIN.

The articles on this site are for information purposes only. None of the content of Home Security Action should be construed as advice under the Financial Services Act 1986.

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