If you don’t want to become a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft, then keeping your financial details safe and secure is essential. When it comes to credit card fraud, the online domain is a criminal city, and thousands of people get their detailed copied and stolen every day. Once these identity thieves have your security details and financial information, they can take out loans in your name, new mobile phone contracts, make extravagant purchases, and even open up new bank accounts abroad.
Most victims of credit card fraud unknowingly give up their personal information voluntarily, whether it’s by accessing a fake or compromised website, or clicking on emails which access your computer, and copy your details. In 2013, paying for things online is commonplace, and no one really stops to think about the risks on a day to day basis. Although the police have special departments specifically designed to tackle cybercrime, there are thousands of criminals out there, and many do fall through the net.
From 2011 to 2022, over £350m was lost to credit card fraud and identity theft in the UK alone – and over 70 per cent of this criminality was completed without the physical use of the credit card. This means that all the criminals needed was the victim’s details, like account number, sort code, and security code. Not only is credit card fraud a well organised trade, but it’s also generates enormous profits for the criminal gangs.
How Details Are Stolen
The criminal masterminds behind identity theft rarely take on one job at once – in fact, they can purchase thousands of stolen passwords and card details at one, meaning they undertake credit card fraud on a mass scale. Not all of these security codes will work, but it only takes a couple of hundred winners to make a fortune. Thankfully, banks now insure their customs against credit card fraud, so you’ll always get your money back one way or another. Sadly, the same can’t be said for your credit rating, and it could take months or even years to get it back into the green.
This is why it is essential to remember your security details on all your credit cards, and change them at least once every two months to avoid being targeted by criminals. The most common method of online fraud is though phishing – a technique used by criminals to easily copy your online details. Fake websites are set up, looking exactly like the real thing, and the criminals will monitor all the credit card details that customers input into the website.
For example, many people have been tricked into email phishing, where they have been sent fake notifications from their bank, directing them to a replica website of their online accounts. It may look and seem like you’re interacting with your finances, but actually nothing is happening except cleaver and sophisticated fraud.
In order to keep your details safe, never open any email link sent to you by your bank. Banks will never contact you via email regarding your finances – they’ll always call, or send you an email to call them.