MANILA — Credit card owners are advised to be more vigilant as card scams have increased by 29% in 2020. The period form April to November of last year shows the surge in credit card shams was up 29% compared to 2019, according to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP).
Fraudulent card activities have become more rampant since the pandemic-induced lockdowns. Most sham acts reported took place via remote and other digital payment channels. The CCAP said that the criminal act proliferated when payments shifted from card-present to card-not-present such as remote payments and other digital payments.
“Fraud happens more often in cyberspace, given that it is easier to facilitate there. It does away with the need to secure a physical card and more importantly, it is a safer option for the fraudsters because of the anonymity that the internet provides,” says CCAP executive director Alex Ilagan in an advisory.
Types of fraud
One type of prevalent fraud, CCAP reports, is an account takeover. This involves acquiring a physical card or its details along with the cardholder’s one-time password (OTP) to complete online transactions. Scammers and fraudsters employ social engineering techniques to deceive cardholders into disclosing their personal information and card details. According to the credit card group, these criminals usually pretend to be representatives of a bank, a phone company, or even an government agency.
Phishing scams are also on the rise as digital transactions have been gaining ground for its convenience. The usual phishing technique is an email that looks like it comes from the cardholder’s bank. Emails like this have subjects that range from “A New Device Log-in,” to “Credit Card Upgrade,” etc. and their goal is to get the cardholder’s card details and online banking credentials.
CCAP works with partner banks with information drive on types of fraud and how to avoid them. Scam Proof, an online platform MetroBank initiated, where cardholders can find different kinds of fraud, and learn about securing their accounts, and share instances on how they were scammed. Cardholders are advised to review their bank transactions regularly to detect any irregularities in their transactions. Also, be cautious of websites that require card details.
The best way to avoid credit card fraud, says CCAP, is to never share account details through messaging apps and social networks. Writing PIN (personal ID number) and password is also discouraged, as they can get in the wrong hands. (JSM/JuanManila)