Verify Financial Transactions to Spot and Stop Fraudulent Activity on Your Credit/Debit Card

Key Points:

  • Credit card fraud can be a nightmare for an individual or a business.
  • Criminals use lost or stolen credit cards to commit fraud.
  • While a fraudster might be unable to use the lost or stolen card at a point-of-sale device that requires a pin, they can use the card details to make online purchases.
  • Other times, a criminal doesn’t need a physical card to commit fraud — they only require specific information to execute fraudulent activities by mail, online, or via phone.
  • Regular review of your account can help you spot suspicious activity as soon as something goes amiss.

Many people don’t think twice about checking their bank or credit card statement when it arrives in the email. However, with the growing concerns about credit card fraud, you need to check your account activity regularly to spot anything that looks amiss.

The cards are almost dangerously convenient — you don’t need to go to the store — just insert or wave your card, and your purchases will be at your doorstep. However, you should be mindful of your financial information because fraudsters work hard to profit off the convenience associated with cards.

How Identity Fraudsters Find Card Account Information

Identity thieves can obtain your credit card information in several ways, including:

  • Stealing the card by snatching your purse, wallet, or briefcase
  • Getting the card when you lost it
  • Credit card cloning
  • Obtaining basic details of your card online, in mailboxes, in your personal files, or in the trash

Someone can sort through your garbage to find bank receipts, discarded checks, or physical credit cards. After a fraudster has obtained your card details, they can begin to make online or telephone purchases using your name and credit card number.

Verify Your Financial Transaction to Spot and Stop Financial Identity Theft

Credit card fraud can happen to anyone, but you can resolve it easily if you act fast. The first thing is to review your monthly financial statement. You should check for charges on your credit card statement that you didn’t put in there.

Verifying financial transactions is especially important if you use a card frequently because small mistakes can add up quickly. Checking your statement helps you spot suspicious activities, such as unauthorized charges or withdrawals.

If you note anything unusual in your transactions, no matter how small, contact your bank or credit card company. The small transactions are what cybercriminals get into first before making huge transactions.

By reviewing your financial statements monthly, you can protect yourself from financial fraud and ensure your account is in good standing.

What To Look For To Spot Fraudulent Activity on Your Card

Fraudsters leave traces that you can find. You only need to know where to look. Here are ways you can detect fraud:

  • Monitor your monthly credit card statement and spot even the smallest transaction you didn’t make. If you note you’re a victim of credit card fraud, you should take immediate action.
  • Open and review all your financial statements via mail to ensure you authorized all transactions.
  • If you opt for paperless billing, ensure you review your financial statements online whenever possible.
  • Set up alerts on your email and phone to get notifications whenever your latest statements are available — that way, you can quickly identify transactions or charges you didn’t authorize or make
  • Check for bills for products and services you didn’t buy
  • Spot for a bill for a credit card statement of a card you didn’t open. If there is such a bill in your mailbox, you should flag it as a fraud attempt
  • Calls from collections agencies claiming you owe money. You shouldn’t get these calls if you haven’t defaulted on any debt. You can flag the calls as financial identity fraud.
  • Check for loans and lines of credit you didn’t initiate — they can be a huge sign of a big problem.

How Credit Card Frauds Work

Regardless of the business size, you have a high potential for credit card fraud. There are multiple ways card fraud can happen.

1. Lost or Stolen Cards

The most obvious type of card fraud happens when you lose your card or get stolen. The fraudster can physically take the card by snatching your purse or wallet or stealing it from an unsecured location.

The criminal will then use your card to make unauthorized transactions until you cancel it. While the thief might be unable to use your card at a point-of-sale device — because they’ll need a pin — they can use the details to buy products and services online.

To reduce the damage from lost or stolen cards, you should report your card as stolen to your bank or credit card company as soon as possible to block future transactions. You can also set your card to ask for a pin before finalizing any purchase.

2. Card-not-Present Fraud

The fraud doesn’t require the fraudster to have a physical card to make unauthorized transactions. Instead, they’ll get the necessary details, such as:

  • Your name
  • The credit card number
  • The expiration date

With the above information, a fraudster can execute fraudulent activity online, via phone, or by mail. They can get this information through stolen documents, searching for the information in your trash, or accessing your personal files.

The problem with card-not-present fraud is that you won’t notice it until you get the next financial statement.

3. Credit Card Cloning

A fraudster can use a device known as a skimmer to illegally obtain your details from the credit card’s magnetic strip. The criminal will then encode the information into a counterfeit card.

The card readers or ATMs will have difficulty detecting between the real and the counterfeit card, so fraudsters can use the fake card to withdraw cash from your account and make purchases.

Fraudsters fit electronic skimming devices onto cash machines to pick card details when a victim withdraws. The trouble with card cloning is that it’ll take you time to notice the problem because you’ll already have the card in your pocket. You won’t see fraudulent activity until you get your next financial statement.

Veltec Networks Can Help Your Business Protect Itself Against Fraud

Consumers aren’t the only ones who should worry about card fraud. You can easily leave your finances vulnerable to fraudsters as a business owner. Unlike fraud against an individual, business card fraud affects many people and can affect the organization’s reputation.

Veltec Networks can help your business ensure the security of its account. For over a decade, we’ve helped hundreds of business owners protect their companies’ finances and can help you too. Contact us today to access security expertise to protect your business against threats.

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