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Bank card and cheque fraud happens when criminals steal your cards or chequebook and gain access to funds in your account.
Criminals steal your bank cards or cheque book; or they obtain your card or account details, allowing them to take money from your account or run up credit in your name. You’ll usually notice this by seeing unfamiliar transactions on your statements, or suddenly finding that you’ve exceeded your overdraft limit or credit limit and your card is refused when you try to make a purchase.
Here are some of the ways a fraudster could steal money from you:
ATM (cash machine) fraud
A fraudster uses a device to capture your card information as you are withdrawing money from an ATM. The fraudster then uses this information to take money from your account in a shop, online or from an ATM.
A fraudster counterfeits your bank card by using a device to capture the card and account information embedded in your card’s magnetic strip. This is often known as ‘skimming’. The fraudster then uses this information to carry out fraudulent transactions in countries where chip and PIN technology is not supported.
The fraudster may also use this information in transactions where the card doesn’t have to be physically seen by the retailer or merchant. For example, when shopping online; buying goods by telephone or mail order; or using cardholder activated terminals, such as ticket machines.
Lost or stolen card fraud
In this case, fraudsters use your card before you are able to report it as lost or stolen. A new or replacement card may also be stolen before you receive it. For example, if you have moved address recently and not had your mail redirected; or if your mail is delivered to a communal mailbox.
A fraudster may have stolen enough information about your identity and financial affairs to take over your account or to impersonate you. The fraudster will gain access to your account after getting through security online, at a bank branch or call centre, or by teaming up with someone inside the organisation that holds your account. If the fraudster can impersonate you, he or she will open accounts in your name and then defraud them.
Cheque fraud operates in a number of ways. For example, a fraudster pays you for goods or services using a stolen cheque; or deposits a fraudulent or stolen cheque into your account; or steals individual cheques or a cheque book from you.
Are you a victim of bank card or cheque fraud?
Your cards or chequebook have been stolen or faked and you notice unfamiliar transactions on your statement, or you find out that your overdraft limit is suddenly exceeded.
What should you do if you’ve been a victim of bank card or cheque fraud?
Protect yourself against bank card and cheque fraud
Keep all your cards and financial details safe:
Secure your PIN:
Take care when using cash machines:
Take extra care when using cards abroad.
Before you go away:
When you are away:
When you get back:
When banking online:
When shopping online:
Other sources of help over bank card and cheque fraud
The information is from CardWatch, the organisation that raises awareness of all types of plastic card fraud in the UK
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