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Fraud Attempts on the Rise with Debit and Credit Cards

Use these tips to reduce your risk

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an industry-wide increase in fraud. The experts at FIBT along with our sophisticated fraud-detecting systems are hard at work mitigating the risk and frequency of different threats. However, there are also simple things you can do to lower the risk of fraud on your debit and credit cards. One of the most common tactics used by fraudsters is known as a BOT fraud trend. We’ll share a few actions you can take to increase your security, but first, we’ll explain these threats and how they work.

What is the difference between a BOT fraud trend and a card data breach?

A BOT fraud trend is a trial-and-error method used by fraudsters to obtain payment card information such as an account number, card expiration date, PIN, or CVV code. We sometimes hear from customers that their card was compromised despite never (or hardly) using it. Card breaches on the other hand, occur when credit or debit card information is stolen by cyber thieves who have accessed card payment information without authorization, like infiltrating a merchant payment system.

How is a BOT fraud trend executed?

In these attacks, fraudsters identify the Bank Identification Number (BIN) or first part of the card number and then use software to randomly generate the remaining numbers to discover a valid card number. Using malware, phishing schemes, or a combination of both, the fraudster obtains access to a merchant’s card terminals or online payment system. They then perform a number of robotic test transactions until they see one go through. Once it does, they use the discovered card number to perform fraudulent transactions through a number of channels that don’t require a physical credit card to complete payment.

What can I do?

The most useful tool for monitoring your account is online or mobile banking. Make sure to check your balances and transaction history on a regular basis. In addition, there are other ways to reduce your risk of the different forms of debit or credit card fraud.

  1. Be careful about where you store your data. Most phones or web browsers offer to store your debit or credit card information for later use. We recommend against this because if someone gets access to your phone or computer, they have everything they need to take money from your account.
  2. Choose electronic statements. If you still receive your monthly statements in physical form, make sure to store them somewhere safe and shred all statements you don’t need. Also, consider the risk of your mail being stolen out of your mailbox. Electronic statements are available after your secure online login. See your local banker if you wish to change to electronic statements.
  3. Be diligent about your online security. Before entering debit or credit card information while shopping online, make sure there is an “https” before the website name. The “s” means secure.
  4. Watch out for phishing scams, which is when fraudsters try to replicate reputable companies via email and attempt to obtain personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. When in doubt, call your trusted financial institution to verify the information they are requesting.
  5. Keep track of your card. It goes without saying but make sure you know where your card is at all times. If you lose a card or think it may be stolen, report it right away.

Below are additional resources to help you get educated and feel empowered to act appropriately to potential fraud risks.