Credit card fraud cases surge 29% | Inquirer Business
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Credit card fraud cases surge 29%

/ 05:16 AM February 03, 2021

Fraudulent credit card activities via remote and other digital payment channels increased by 29 percent in the Philippines since the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdowns, underscoring greater vigilance among users.

The Credit Card Association Philippines (CCAP) reported that as the pandemic caused payments to shift from card-present (CP) or face-to-face transactions to card-not-present (CNP) such as remote payments and other digital payments, fraudulent activities proliferated.

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The 29-percent increase in incidence of credit card fraud covered the period April to November 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

“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,” CCAP executive director Alex Ilagan said in an advisory.

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CCAP reported that one type of prevalent fraud is called an account takeover. This involves acquiring a physical card or its details along with the cardholder’s one-time-password to complete online transactions. Scammers and fraudsters normally use social engineering to deceive cardholders into giving sensitive personal information and card details. They usually pretend to be representatives of a bank, phone company or even from a government agency.

The growth of digital transactions have spurred the rise of phishing scams. One of the most popular phishing techniques is sending an email that looks like it came from the cardholder’s bank. These emails have subjects ranging from a new device log-in to a credit card upgrade and their goal is to attain the cardholder’s card details and online banking credentials.

Authentication process

CCAP said it had been working even harder with partner banks to educate cardholders about the current kinds of fraud and how to avoid them. Reviewing bank transactions regularly and being wary of which websites cardholders use their cards on are among the common practical tips.

CCAP also played a role in launching last year “Scam Proof,” an online platform where cardholders can discover the different forms of fraud, learn about securing their accounts and even talk about instances wherein they were scammed. Metrobank headed this initiative with the support of banks such as Philippine Savings Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Citibank and BDO Unibank Inc.

More than just educating them, CCAP said credit card issuers were doing their best to protect cardholders through various authentication processes.

But cardholders were reminded that they must do their share in avoiding credit card fraud. They must never share their account details through messaging apps and social media as these could be used by hackers and fraudsters. Writing PINs and passwords is also discouraged, as they can fall into the wrong hands.

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