What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of credit cards? Do you find them as a convenient tool to pay off big-ticket items? A trap that could lead you to a pile of debt?
Whatever you may think of credit cards, one thing is for sure—credit cards are a valuable financial asset in your day to day life when used properly and wisely.
Whether you’re paying for grocery items or monthly electric bills, you can opt to use your credit card for a fast and hassle-free transaction. What’s more, you can earn reward points that you may redeem when dining out in restaurants or booking flight tickets.
However, fraudulent activities involving credit card transactions have been on the rise in recent years.
According to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), credit card fraud increased by 21% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more Filipinos are shifting to cashless methods of payment, cybercriminals are getting more creative with exploiting their victims.
CCAP said the most common type of credit card fraud is “Virtual Account Take Over” scams, which involves accessing victims’ One-Time Passwords (OTPs).
Other fraudulent credit card transactions involve “phishing” where scammers send a fake email or text message to lure account holders into giving their sensitive personal information and credit card details online.
Scammers also attempt to read the credit card information through a new form of skimming called “shimming”, thus enabling them to duplicate the card with a magnetic stripe.
Thanks to Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) technology, scammers wouldn't be able to create an exact duplicate of your credit cards. Credit cards are now using EMV technology which are more secure than magnetic stripes cards because they store data on smart chips.
Unfortunately, traditional magnetic stripe credit cards are still accepted in some retail stores. If you haven’t got a EMV chip-enabled card, you can request a new one from your bank.
There is also a card replacement scam where the scammer calls you to surrender your credit card for an “upgrade” or “promo”. Once the credit card is in the possession of the fraudster, he or she will steal the victim’s credit card details and proceed to make unauthorized transactions.
While banks and financial institutions are implementing security controls to prevent online fraud and attacks, it’s also important that you know how to protect yourself from getting scammed. Here are some reminders to avoid credit card fraud and scams:
- Ignore text messages or calls from unknown numbers asking for your sensitive information.
- Avoid clicking suspicious links that require you to share personal and financial information.
- Keep an eye on your cards at all times when making transactions. Only use your credit card in trusted establishments to ensure safe and secure transactions.
- Call your bank to report the loss or theft of your credit card.
- If you identify any fraudulent charges, contact your bank immediately.
Remember that banks will continue to provide a safe, secured, & convenient banking experience for you. Let’s #FightFraudTogether and be #CyberSafe from credit card fraud and scams!