Beginner's guide to: Cedit/debit card fraud

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The Independent Online

What are the most common types of card fraud?

The most common type of card fraud in Britain is known as "card not present" fraud. This is where fraudsters obtain your card details, and use them to buy products on the internet or over the telephone.

How to fraudsters get my card details?

There are a number of ways. One method is "phishing", whereby a fraudster will email you posing as your bank or an official institution, and ask you to verify your details. Fraudsters also use "skimming" devices to copy card details. When you hand your card to a shop attendant to pay for something, it is possible that they could pass it through a device underneath the counter. This records all your card details, which they can then use later. Fraudsters can also extract your details from your computer if you do not have adequate firewalls and virus software.

Wasn't Chip & PIN supposed to stop card fraud?

Chip & PIN has reduced fraud in Britain, but many other countries do not have the same technology. So criminals can clone cards in the UK, and then use them overseas.

How can I protect myself against fraud?

Don't let your cards out of your sight. With Chip & PIN technology, you shouldn't need to hand your card to the cashier. Also, be wary of emails asking for your personal information. Your bank would never email you asking you to enter your account or card details. Finally, make sure your home computer network is secure. Buy the latest virus packages, and secure your internet connection.

Will I have to pay up if I am a victim of fraud?

As long as it's not your fault, your bank will cover the cost of any fraud on your cards. However, if there's any evidence that you haven't taken proper care to protect yourself, you may have to pick up the bill. For more information about card fraud, visit www.apacs.org.uk.

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