Unfortunately credit card fraud is now a very big business, peaking in 2008 at nearly £610 million. It is slowly falling from that figure due to advances in fraud prevention such as Chip and Pin, Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure Code. Despite these electronic advances and customers becoming more security conscious, UK banks and lenders wrote off

£341 million

in fraudulent debt in 2011. Our infographic looks at some of the world’s biggest credit card scams, the methods employed by these criminals and the ways in which we can protect ourselves.

The highest percentage of credit card frauds committed in 2011 is the ‘card-not-present’ scam, as this is the easiest for criminals to commit as they do not require the card or the pin number. The rise in online shopping means neither the cardholder or the card need to be present at the transaction. To try and combat this type of fraud, Visa and Mastercard have the option to set up an additional password with your credit card for any purchases you make online.

Phishing is an online technique used by scammers to acquire information by using a link to a fake website. These websites look almost identical to the legitimate one, so always be suspicious of emails asking you to click a link to a website. Skimming happens when your card is placed into an illegitimate card reader or swiped to collect your card details. Card skimmers can easily be attached to card readers, or thieves can use hidden cameras to record your details. The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure you can see your card at all times when making a purchase. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your pin number, and try to use ATM’s inside banks whenever possible.

Always report any suspicious activity and you could avoid beconing a victim of credit card fraud.


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