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Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a form of identity theft, wherein a scammer uses your credit card or its details, i.e., the PIN or CVV number, to transact without your knowledge. Such types of credit card frauds can lead to heavy financial losses on your part. In case credit card fraud detection is not done quickly, you can also fall into heavy debt traps, which could eventually damage your credit score.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

It is important to be aware of the various ways in which scammers try to steal your money. Some examples of credit card scams are mentioned below.

1) Credit Card Skimming

This type of credit card fraud occurs when you swipe your card for offline transactions. The point-of-sale (PoS) device is modified for such frauds and a small skimming device is attached to it. The device scans and stores the information on the card when it is being swiped to complete the transaction. Like PoS devices, slots of ATM cards too may have such skimming devices attached to them along with a small camera to capture your card details. Watch out for such suspicious equipment and notify the authorities if you’re doubtful.

2) Credit Card Phishing/Vishing Attacks

Fraudsters can send false links as official bank communication to scam you. As soon you click on the bait, your card information becomes accessible to them. This is called phishing. A similar fraud known as voice phishing, or vishing, is common too. Here, fraudsters impersonate bank officials over the phone and ask you to verify your identity with your credit card details. When you share the requested details, your credit card information becomes available to them. They may even ask for OTP in a bid to validate illegitimate transactions they are trying to make through your card.

3) Credit Card Dumpster Diving

This fraud occurs when you discard credit card bills or documents without destroying them. Thieves or hackers retrieve the information from these documents and can access your credit card account.

4) Credit Card Application Scams

This type of credit card fraud occurs when scammers impersonate you to obtain a credit card. They can use stolen documents and personal information to validate the claim. Usually, banks have strict credit card application processes to detect fraud, and they conduct a thorough background check to resolve such threats. However, scammers can use this information to make changes to your existing information too.

5) Credit Card Keyboard Capturing

This is one of the latest credit card fraud methods that leverages online transactions. Here, malicious software is used to collect your card details. The software is automatically downloaded and installed on your system as soon as you click on the suspicious link. It then records every key you press on the system to capture your financial (card) details.

6) Theft or Loss of Card

If your credit card is lost, the chances of you becoming a victim of different types of credit card frauds 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.

Why is Credit Card Fraud Detection Critical

A credit card scam can impact your finances in several ways. Here’s how:

  • Fraudulent transactions made on the card, if not reported, are added to your statement and you must pay the same

  • Failing to clear such bills on time attracts late payment fees along with regular interest charges

  • Such high credit utilisation on the card can bring down your borrowing limit significantly

  • If left unchecked, piling expenses and failed payments will lower your credit score

  • A poor credit score hampers your chances of availing a new credit card in the future

  • The low credit card score may also result in the bank blocking your card

Steps to Follow in Case of Credit Card Fraud

Each bank has a credit card fraud detection system in place to protect you from identity theft. However, if you notice any fraudulent activity before the bank does, it is critical that you report it and block the card. There are several ways of doing so:

  • Log in to your credit card netbanking, block your credit card, and apply for a new one

  • Call the credit card customer care, verify yourself, and report the fraud

  • Log in to your mobile banking app and block your card

  • Visit your nearest bank branch and ask an executive to block your credit card

How to Report Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions For Different Banks

1. State Bank of India

  • SMS “BLOCK XXXX” to 5676791 from your registered mobile number, where XXXX = last four digits of your lost SBI Credit Card number.

  • Call on SBI credit card customer care at 3902 0202 (prefix local STD code) or 1860 180 1290

2. Axis Bank

Report fraudulent transactions to the bank via:

  • Call: Contact the Axis Bank credit card customer care at 1860 419 5555 or 1860 500 555

  • Email: Send an email by clicking on the email tab on the official website

  • Visit your nearest Axis Bank branch

3. RBL Bank

Frauds on your RBL credit cards can be reported by contacting the RBL bank credit card customer care :

  • Call: 022 6232 7777

  • Email: vigilance@rblbank.com

4. ICICI Bank

5. Citibank

  • Log into Citibank online>Click on the account in which you suspect fraudulent activities>Scroll to the bottom of Account Statement>Select Dispute>Select the credit card transaction you wish to dispute and enter details

  • Call on the Citi Bank credit card helpline numbers at 1860 210 2484 or +91 22 4955 2484

Documents Required When Filing a Credit Card Fraud Report

  • A copy of the police complaint

  • A copy of all pages of the passport (in case of overseas dispute)

  • Cardmember Declaration Form (CDF) in some cases

Ways to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

With credit card scams becoming more and more prevalent, it is critical for you to take the necessary precautions and ensure not to fall prey to such activities. Here are some ways to protect your card information:

  • Do not leave your credit cards unattended

  • Store your credit cards in a safe place when not in use

  • To prevent online credit card fraud, check for the safety and authenticity of the websites before making any transactions

  • Do not click on suspicious links received through email or SMS

  • Do not share your credit card PIN, card number, or other card-related information with anyone

  • Make sure to change the card’s PIN frequently

  • Shred and carefully discard any credit card-related documents, such as your credit card statement, bill receipts, etc.

  • Report loss or theft of card immediately

  • Review your account statement without fail

  • Avoid using public wifis or unknown wifi networks when making credit card transactions

  • Do not save your credit card information online

  • Ensure that your credit card is swiped in your presence

  • Check the ATM card slots and PoS devices for suspicious cloning attachments before you swipe your card

  • In case you are getting a new credit card, make sure that it is properly sealed

  • Sign on the back of your credit card immediately after receiving it

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FAQs on Credit Card Fraud

✔️How does fraud happen on credit cards?

You can be a credit card fraud victim if your card information falls into the wrong hands. The common types of credit card frauds are skimming, dumpster diving, phishing, vishing, keyboard capturing, and card application scams. 

✔️How serious is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud can have a massive impact on your finances. If left undetected, your credit card score can take a bad hit, which will reduce your chances of getting access to credit in the future. If unreported, you would have to make the payments against fraudulent transactions added to your credit card statement.

✔️How much trouble can you get in for credit card fraud?

Every fraudulent transaction made on your card gets added to your credit card statement. If you fail to clear the bill, you are charged late fees and interest on the outstanding amount. Also, your credit utilisation ratio on the card takes a hit, bringing down your borrowing limit and, eventually, your credit score. A low credit score reflects negatively on your credit profile and reduces your chances of getting access to credit in the future.

✔️Do credit card frauds get caught?

Due to the increase in the number of credit card scams of late, banks today have efficient credit card fraud detection systems in place to identify and protect you from credit card identity theft.