Credit Card Fraud is on the Rise — Are Your Customers Safe?

Written By: ATM Marketplace

It's no surprise that due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, more people were ordering, shopping and paying online than ever before. And due to this digital migration, it's also no surprise that credit card fraud significantly increased as well.

According to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network, reports of credit card fraud rose by 104% between Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2020. Compare that to the growth in reports from 2017 to 2019, which was only 27% and you can see that credit card fraud is a constant and growing problem. The answer to this issue is to keep personal and sensitive information protected but what are the best ways?

For those aged 20-69 claiming to be a victim of fraud, the majority indicated an online site, email or company as source of the fraud. This included email phishing, fraudulent websites, unsecured public wifi networks, and online scams. Businesses and individuals should not discount any suspicious activity. Some of the most high-profile data breaches in the past decade started with a phishing email.

Train and inform staff and customers

Customers as well as staff need to be educated that any unsolicited email from a coworker, online store, bank or government agency should be treated as suspect until the sender can be verified. That sounds like common sense, but it's often these emails that get opened and are responsible for allowing fraudsters in.

Customers should be aware that phishing emails have become extremely advanced and sophisticated, using personal information, logos and company names that make it harder to realize the email is a scam. Clients and staff should be trained to realize that anytime sensitive information such as account numbers, credit card numbers, fund transfers or passwords are requested, even if it seems to be from a legitimate source, should be verified by another form of contact such as a phone call or text.

During the height of the pandemic, the vice president of accounts payable for a large overseas company received what looked like an email from his CEO requesting the transfer of funds to another overseas recipient. The email had come through the company intranet, had the company logo on the top of the email and looked, by all mean to be a legitimate email. Given that the majority of his team were working remote, the vice president was about to approve the transfer when he decided at the last minute to verif