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Last Updated: 01. September 2017

38 Crucial Tips to Prevent Card Fraud

November has begun and a long list of gift shopping came along with it. From Black Friday to Christmas, we may consider November and December, with no doubt, as the most expensive months of the year.

During the last Christmas, only 10% of British consumers did all the shopping in brick and mortar stores, highlighting the growing importance of the shopping online. In this way, people have the possibility to avoid crowds and to immediately check the availability of the good on the company’s website, before filling up the online basket and finalising the purchase.

In a store or online, shopping establishments are taking advantage of the increased usage of debit/credit/prepaid cards. But, alongside this phenomena, the risk of card fraud increases too.

Decreased Card Fraud in Europe Thanks to Chip and Pin Technology

After the introduction of the safest Chip and Pin cards, Europe saw an increased level of security and protection of their bank accounts, and, for this reason, European countries are not among the countries with the highest level of card fraud (which are Mexico, Brazil, the U.S.A., Australia, and India). Nevertheless, criminals are getting smarter, and they are always looking for a new way to fraud people.

According to Financial Fraud Action UK, in 2013, £600m were stolen in the U.K. alone. There are several types of card fraud and ways to avoid them, but it is important to understand how to distinguish between the different types.

In the following infographic, you can find, not only the types of card fraud described below, but also what you can do to fight card fraud and avoid inconveniences.

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Ranking of Card Fraud Types in the UK

1. Telephone/Mail Order Fraud

The annual cost of this type of card fraud to the UK is £398.2m. This occurs when the criminal uses the card to purchase goods over the phone or through a mail order.

2. Online Shopping Fraud

This crime costs £261.5m to the UK yearly, and it happens when the thief purchases products or services online, remotely, without needing a PIN code.

3. Online Banking Fraud

Again in the cyberworld, this type of card fraud costs £133.5m for the country. In this case, the criminal can operate in different ways:

  • PHISHING: the customer receives an unsolicited email signed from a bank, asking for personal information.
  • MALWARE: this term stands for ‘malicious software’ that is designed to steal personal information or online banking password.
  • SMISHING: text messages, which are sent to your personal mobile number, asking for personal data.

4. Lost & Stolen Card Fraud

£74.4m are the costs to the UK to for this kind of card fraud, which is when the criminal uses the card themselves while purchasing goods. It can also be:

  • COURIER FRAUD: can happen when you receive a call from someone that warn you that a courier will come to pick up your card, together with all its details
  • FRAUDULENT PHONE CALLS: known also as VISING, this type of fraud happens when criminals call you claiming that they are service providers (TV or phone provider, bank, police)

5. Face-to-face Card Fraud

The UK has lost £53.5m because of these card frauds. It happens when a lost or stolen card is used directly in shops or physical places, instead of online. It is likely that the criminal knows the PIN, in this case.

6. Counterfeit Card Fraud

£45.3m is the amount that the UK has to invest to solve this type of card fraud. In this case, the criminal is able to steal the data of the card, through card skimming of the magnetic stripe. The percentage of this type of fraud went down thanks to the introduction of Chip & Pin technology, but unfortunately, these cards can be used out of the country without needing the PIN.

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7. ID Theft

The costs of this fraud to the UK is £38.2m, and occurs after that the criminal has access to all the personal information of the customer. In this way, the thief can try to takeover the account or use fake documents to open a new account.

8. ATM (Cash Machine) Fraud

The money allocated to this crime is around £32.7m in the UK, and can be categorised into different types of card fraud:

  • CARD TRAPPING: a device is inserted in the ATM machine and the criminal is able to watch the customer typing the PIN, and thanks to the device, can steal the card. For this reason, the person might think that the ATM itself swallowed the card, but the truth is that it has been stolen.
  • CARD SKIMMING: in this case the thief uses a camera to watch the PIN code and a device which will read the data on the card’s magnetic stripe. In this way, the criminal will be able to create counterfeit cards
  • DISTRACTION THEFT: the easier and the most common type of fraud. The criminal waits until the customer types the PIN and then they distract the victim.

9. Telephone Banking Fraud

£32.3m is the amount of money lost in the UK for this type of fraud. In this case, the criminal is uses the customer's’ personal information, in order to have access to the Telephone Banking services.

10. Cheque Fraud

The annual cost is £19.8m to the country, which can be divided in three different frauds:

  • Counterfeit cheques are made from scratch to look like original ones
  • Forged cheques are usually stolen by the victim and used by the criminal with a forged signature
  • Altered cheques are filled out by the victim, but then they are modified by the criminal

11. Mail Not Received Fraud

The UK spends around £11.7m per year to cope with this issue. In fact, the card can even be stolen before the owner actually possess it.

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