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Credit card fraud refers to deceptive use of credit card information, such as CVV number, with the intent to make fraudulent transactions or commit identity theft. In such instances, a scammer may use your credit card or its details to make purchases without your knowledge. 


If left unmonitored, such transactions could lead to heavy financial losses. You must promptly alert the necessary authorities about such unauthorised activities. 

Types of Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud may be committed in different forms, each posing a distinct threat to cardholders and financial institutions. Here are some common types of credit card fraud:

  • Counterfeit Card Fraud

Fake credit cards are created by copying information from a stolen or comprised ATM card. This often involves skimming devices or compromised point-of-sale terminals.

  • Skimming

Skimming devices are used on card readers  to capture the magnetic stripe data from credit cards, which is then used to create counterfeit cards. 

  • Lost or Stolen Card Fraud

When a credit card is lost or stolen, unauthorised individuals may use it for fraudulent transactions until the cardholder reports the loss and the card is deactivated.

  • Application Fraud

Stolen personal information is exploited to apply for credit cards in others' names, resulting in unauthorised charges and potential identity theft.

  • Card Not Present (CNP) Fraud

Unauthorised online or phone transactions are made without the physical card. In this case, the information may have been obtained through illegal means.  

  • Phishing and Social Engineering

Deceptive emails, messages, or phone calls are made to trick individuals into revealing their credit card information or other sensitive details.

  • Identity Theft

Personal information is stolen to impersonate the cardholder, apply for a credit card, or make transactions in their name.

  • Mail Theft and Fraud

Criminals intercept credit card statements or new cards sent by mail, enabling them to make unauthorised transactions.


If your credit card is lost, the chances of you becoming a victim of credit card fraud is very high should the card fall into the wrong hands. As a precautionary measure, it is advised to inform the authorities immediately about your lost card.


How to Detect Credit Card Fraud

Here are a few ways through which you can identify if you have been a victim of credit card fraud. 

  • Regularly Monitor Your Statements

Review your credit card statements regularly for any unauthorised or suspicious transactions. Ensure that all charges are familiar and legitimate.

  • Set-up Account Alerts

Most credit card issuers offer account alert services. Set-up alerts for large transactions, online purchases, or any unusual activity. This allows you to be notified promptly of potential fraud.

  • Check Your Credit Report

Obtain and review your credit report regularly to identify any unauthorised accounts or inquiries. You are entitled to a free annual credit report from major credit bureaus.

  • Verify Unknown Charges

Keep an eye out for small, unfamiliar charges, as fraudsters often test stolen cards with small transactions before attempting larger ones.

  • Use Two-factor Authentication

Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible, especially for online transactions. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification.

  • Protect Personal Information

Avoid sharing sensitive details over the phone or online unless you are certain of the recipient's legitimacy.

  • Check for Skimming Devices

Before using ATMs or card readers, inspect for any unusual attachments or signs of tampering. Skimming devices may be used to capture card information.

  • Use Secure Websites:

Only make online transactions on secure and reputable websites. Look for ‘https://’ in the website address and use secure Wi-Fi connections.

Steps to Follow in Case of Credit Card Fraud

If you suspect or confirm credit card fraud, taking prompt action is crucial to mitigate potential losses and protect your financial well-being. Here are the steps to follow in case of credit card fraud:

  • Contact Your Credit Card Issuer Immediately:

Contact the customer service or log in to your credit card netbanking to report the fraudulent activity as soon as possible. 

  • Provide Details of Fraudulent Transactions

Clearly explain to the credit card customer care representative the unauthorised transactions you've identified on your account. Provide details such as the date, amount, and merchant name, if available.

  • Request to Freeze or Close the Account

Ask the credit card issuer to freeze or close your account to prevent further unauthorised transactions. They may issue you a new card with a new account number for added security.

  • File a Fraudulent Activity Report

Some credit card issuers require you to complete a fraud report detailing the unauthorised transactions. Follow their instructions to submit this report promptly.

  • Change Account Passwords and PINs

If you suspect that your account information has been compromised, change your online account passwords and PINs immediately to prevent further unauthorised access.

  • Dispute Unauthorised Charges

Work with your credit card issuer to dispute any suspicious charges on your account. They will investigate the charges and, if found to be fraudulent, remove them from your account.

  • File a Police Report 

In some cases, if identity theft is involved, you may need to file a police report. Keep a copy of the report for your records and provide it to your credit card issuer, if requested.

  • Stay Informed and Follow Up

Stay in touch with your credit card issuer for updates on the investigation and resolution of the fraudulent activity. Follow up regularly to ensure that the issue is being addressed effectively.


By following these steps and maintaining open communication with your credit card issuer, you can effectively manage and resolve credit card fraud incidents while safeguarding your financial interests.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I detect credit card fraud early?

Regularly monitor your credit card statements, set-up account alerts for suspicious activity, and review your credit reports. Early detection is crucial in preventing further unauthorised transactions.

What should I do if I suspect credit card fraud?

If you suspect fraud, contact your credit card issuer immediately to report the unauthorised transactions. They will guide you through the steps to address the issue.

How can I protect my physical credit card from theft or loss?

Keep your credit card in a secure place, avoid leaving it unattended, and report lost or stolen cards promptly to your credit card issuer.

What security measures can I implement for online transactions?

Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Additionally, before making any transactions on a website, ensure that it’s secure with a ‘https://’ in the address and a lock icon.

Are there specific signs of phishing attempts related to credit card fraud?

Be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages asking for credit card information. Verify the legitimacy of the communication before sharing any sensitive details.

How do skimming devices work, and how can I protect my credit card against them?

Skimming devices capture credit card information from the magnetic stripe. Protect against them by checking card readers or ATMs for any unusual attachments before use.

Can credit card fraud lead to identity theft?

Yes, credit card fraud is often linked to identity theft, where thieves use stolen personal information for fraudulent activities. Early detection helps prevent identity theft.

What preventative measures can I take to avoid credit card fraud?

Prevent credit card fraud by regularly monitoring statements, setting up account alerts, protecting physical cards, using secure passwords, and staying informed about common fraud techniques.

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