Protect cards from fraud [Daily Post (Liverpool, England)]
(Daily Post (Liverpool, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) AS figures show a rise in fraud due to stolen cards, Vicky Shaw looks at how you can protect your plastic from the criminals. Last year, a staggering Pounds 450.4 million was lost on UK-issued bank cards from frauds like identity theft, cloned cards and internet fraud.
It marks a 16% increase on overall card fraud from the previous year, but if you think that this rise is simply because tricksters' attempting to steal your money are moving with the high-tech times, think again.
According to figures recently released by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), the name under which the financial services industry co- ordinates crime prevention, fraud simply from cards being stolen cost us Pounds 58.9 million last year, the highest level since 2006.
FFA UK says the use of better fraud detection systems and secure card technology such as chip and pin is forcing criminals to swap tactics and go more low-tech, often with conmen posing over the phone as an official from the bank or the police.
That's not to say we shouldn't also be vigilant when sorting out our finances online - online banking fraud losses also rose by 3% year-on-year, reaching Pounds 40.9 million in 2013.
While better detection systems developed by banks and established internet retailers are helping to improve these figures, the losses are said to have been driven up by criminals' targeting individual people and smaller firms.
Fraudsters are also increasingly turning to digital attacks to compromise card details; for example, Malware is malicious software, unknowingly downloaded onto someone's computer, which enables criminals to steal financial information or perform unauthorised actions on your computer. It's believed that fraudsters are then using these stolen details to steal by targeting less experienced online retailers.
So what steps can you take to avoid becoming a fraud victim? Here's a checklist: ? Give your handbag a spring clearout. Are you walking around with old payslips, bank or credit card statements, utility bills, long-forgotten scraps of paper with important passwords or personal information. These items can be put together like a jigsaw by someone else to build a profile of you, which could then be used to commit identity fraud. ? If you're moving house, make sure you have made arrangements for your mail to be re- directed, so important documents don't end up in the wrong hands.
. ? Be aware. Your bank or the police will never phone, email or visit you to ask for your card Pin or to pick up your card. Never hand your card over to anyone who says they have come to "collect it".
. ? Make sure you are the only person who knows the Pin number ? Be suspicious of unsolicited emails which say they're from your bank or the taxman and do not click on any links in the email. ? Only do your internet shopping on secure websites. Before keying in your card details, be sure that the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing in your browser. ? Install up-to-date security software on your computer, including anti-virus. Some banks offer free security software. ? It may not be the most exciting task in the world, but make sure you regularly sift through your bank and card statements for unusual transactions. ? Shield your Pin with your free hand whenever you type it into a keypad in a shop or at a cash machine.
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