3 Types of Fraud to Avoid


When you hear “credit card fraud” or “debit card fraud” what do you think of? Many people might think of time, stress, and potential loss of money. It is frustrating and can take a lot of time to file claims and cancel and request new cards, if fraud were to occur.

Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud is most the common type of fraud.

At one time, we thought of a credit card thief as someone who stole a physical card and used it to pay for items at a store counter or gas pump. However, that type of theft is becoming more and more rare.  Transactions that take place online or over the phone are known as card-not-present transactions and present the greatest risk of fraud.

There are many ways that cybercriminals steal card information to use in card-not-present fraud.  The three most common ways of obtaining information is hacking, skimming, or phishing.

  • Hacking is an attack directly on computer systems that contain financial information, like retailers, restaurants, hotels, and financial institutions. Stolen data can then be used to commit other types of financial crimes.
  • Skimming is the act of stealing information directly from the card itself. Skimmers can be placed on card readers in public locations like a gas pump or ATM.
  • Phishing is an attempt to get financial information directly from the consumer by posing as a legitimate company or financial institution. In some cases, fraudsters will send emails with warnings about their finances or a threat to the individual’s privacy and will include a link in the email that would take the user to the organization’s page. The link though, will actually direct the user to a fake site where cybercriminals can steal their information.

Crooks have taken advantage of the pandemic.

Over the last year, our digital dependency has become even higher than before the pandemic, and crooks have taken advantage of our desire to stay home and stay safe. Fraud has risen since COVID-19 related lockdowns began, and the dollar amount of attempted fraudulent transactions increased 35% in April 2020, according to the Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.

The main reason for the increase in credit card fraud during the pandemic is the uptick in online shopping.  Make sure you’re buying straight from trusted and secure websites rather than clicking on emails, texts, and advertisements from retailers.

Text Message Fraud Alerts from WESTconsin

WESTconsin Credit Union has recently added another level of protection against fraudulent activity on your debit or credit card transactions. If there is suspected fraud on your account and a mobile phone number is on file, WESTconsin will alert you via text message. Enrollment in fraud alerts is automatic for all debit and credit cards. Learn more!

WESTconsin Credit Union will never call, text, or email you requesting your personal information, including card numbers, passwords, or PIN. If you receive a suspicious phone call or email asking for your personal or confidential information, do not respond. Immediately contact WESTconsin at (800) 924-0022.

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