Even before the pandemic hit the Philippines, credit card fraud was already prevalent in the country. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, a study shows that there was at least a 30 percent increase in fraud cases in 2020 alone.
With the rise of online transactions due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, the e-commerce industry has grown immensely. From food and groceries to furniture and appliances, purchasing goods is as easy as a few taps on our smartphones without the need to leave home. Yes, online shopping can be very convenient, but these kinds of transactions could also pose potential risks. For example, one wrong click can cause the leak of sensitive information without the customer knowing it.
But, don’t fret! Here are different types of credit card fraud that you should watch out for and how you can avoid them:
Phishing & Vishing
Phishing and vishing are some of the most common types of credit card fraud in the country. Phishing comes in emails, fake job search sites, banner ads, fake browser toolbars, text messages, and chat room messages. On the other hand, vishing is another type of phishing, which happens in 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 you can do:
Carefully examine the emails and text messages that you receive and do not click on the links right away. Instead, contact your bank immediately to verify if the message you received is valid for suspicious emails or text messages. 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
Imagine this: You are on your way home when you realize that your wallet is missing and it could have been stolen, or it could have fallen somewhere. What’s worse is it contains your debit cards, credit cards, IDs, and cash! Whoever gets it will have access to your credit cards and 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 you can 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. Moreover, 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 to not lose everything if anything happens to your wallet.
Card Replacement Scam
It’s just another typical day when you suddenly receive a call or message asking you to surrender your credit card because it is due for a replacement and an upgrade. You’re probably wondering why. 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 lo and behold, 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 you can 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 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 some money. But, little did you know, the ATM was rigged. Fraudsters installed a device on the machine to skim your card’s magnetic stripe, containing 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 you can do:
Thankfully, 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.
Overall, the key to avoiding scams is making 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 take over your account if they do not have these types of critical information.
Did you find any of these useful? Let us know in the comments below!