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Bank card and cheque fraud

Criminals steal bank details (or cards) to access customers' accounts. They steal chequebooks to withdraw funds from the customer's account. It is advised to make payment through debit/credit card to get refunds in case of loss. 

Debit card victims get prompt refunds, but credit cards must wait long to get a refund against a loss. 

How Does It Happen?

The tricksters send the customer a cheque- claiming they won it in a lottery draw, and ask them to send some money through a wire transfer to claim the money. The person gets a fake cheque that will bounce if deposited into the bank, but they ask for a money transfer as processing charges or administration fees to claim the prize money. 

If the victims transfer funds into another person's account, they may find other ways to extract more. For example, they may give different explanations like transaction fees or taxes and send more money to claim the reward written on the cheque. 

How To Spot It?

Cheque -

  • The scammers often ask the victim to buy items advertised online or mentioned in the classified ads, and if you pay by cheque, they ask you to refund the difference, and then the cheque bounces. 

  • The banks often check the details of cheques they get from clients, but they bounce only after six working days, and the scammer uses the time to defraud the client. 

  • Sometimes, they try to deposit stolen cheques, make a fraudulent deposit into another account or steal individual cheques or chequebooks. 

ATMs – In certain cases, the ATM is fitted with a scanning device to read the card information and send the details to criminals who can make online purchases. 

Card Not Present – They can use the information skimmed from cards in transactions where the card is not needed physically for buying goods. In remote purchases, one can use the stolen details extracted through computer viruses, unsolicited emails, or calls to order products online. 

Lost Or Stolen – Sometimes, the cards are lost or stolen, and before the person reports it, the scammers get a new replacement card. When the cardholder moves to a new address, their details are not updated in the previous mailbox. 

Card ID Theft - Some steal personal and account details to create a new identity from your data related to financial affairs. Then, they impersonate the account holder and open a new account in the person's name.

How To Protect Yourself?

Secure Your Documents  

  • If you see any unfamiliar transaction in your bank statements or find an overdraft that exceeds the limit, you should be careful. 

  • Take steps to keep all the documents and financial statements safe. For example, take care of the card and details, and do not allow the card out of your sight when you make a transaction.

  • Check all the receipts against the statements carefully and contact the card company if you find any unfamiliar transactions.

  • Please keep all the statements, documents and receipts safe and destroy them when you dispose of them.

  • Sign in any new card as soon as it arrives, and cut all the expired cards through magnetic strips and chips as soon as the replacement arrives. 

Secure The Passwords / PIN 

  • One should try to remember the PIN and not keep the paper notification with the PIN and the card. Ensure you are the only person who knows the PIN. 

  • Please do not write it down or record it. The bank will never ask to disclose the PIN, and when you use the PIN in public places, shield the number. You can change the PIN if you suspect someone has seen it. 

  • You can modify it at the cash machine or contact the bank if you want to change it.

Securing Transactions Abroad 

  • If you use a cash machine, put your safety first. Do not make transactions at a place where you feel uncomfortable or threatened. 

  • If you find anything unusual at the cash machine, or if there is any tampering, avoid the transaction. Dispose of all the statements and do not take help from strangers. 

  • If you are using credit cards abroad, do not take along all the cards. Also, inform the card company about the change in details like phone numbers and modify the details at the card protection agency.

  • Take precautions, look after your cards and details and protect the PIN when typing information into the keypad.

  • Use travellers' cheques and concealed money belts to keep such documents. 

  • Regularly check the statements to identify unfamiliar transactions; if you find any, report them to the card firm.

Securing Transactions on The Internet 

When banking online, ensure the computer has anti-virus software and install anti-spyware. Install the latest security updates. The address should change from HTTP to HTTPS when accessing the bank account. Also, the locked padlock should appear on the screen.

  • Set the highest security notification and monitoring, and install safety options.

  • The bank or police will never ask to disclose the PIN, and you should always access the Internet banking site and never go to the site through email links. 

  • If you are making purchases, sign up for verified options like Visa or MasterCard, which involves registering a password with the firm.

  • Ensure the locked padlock symbol appears on the browser when you submit the card details for payment. 

  • Never send the PIN by mail over the internet, and always keep copies/prints of the terms and conditions of the retailer while making purchases.

Date Published: Sep 15, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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