Credit cards are an increasingly popular cashless payment method. Among other things, they are being used more and more frequently for purchases on the Internet. However, as the frequency of use increases, so does the risk of credit card fraud. According to various estimates, the annual damage caused by credit card fraud is more than 1.3 billion GBP. You should bear in mind that there are different forms of credit card fraud, to which you must react differently in each case.
The different types of credit fraud
- In order to be able to cheat with a credit card, it does not have to be directly available to the fraudsters. The basic data of the card is sufficient for purchases with it. But the fact remains that card theft is one of the most common forms of credit card fraud. After all, many cards are only secured with a signature, which means they can be used for purchases immediately after the theft.
- Another form in which credit card fraud can occur is through electronic data theft. Basically, when you make a purchase on the Internet, you have to transmit your personal credit card data. Fraudsters only need to know
- the card number
- the name of the card holder and
- the check digit of the card
in order to be able to use them immediately without authorization.
- The third way credit card fraud can occur is by stealing data from credit card providers or online merchants. In this case, hackers or fraudulent gangs can manage to steal and illegally use credit cards on a large scale. This makes it clear that a credit card is never 100 percent secure, so you should always consider credit card fraud.
The correct procedure for credit card fraud – What to do if you lose your credit card
You should react immediately in case of credit card fraud. Only then will you be able to prevent greater damage. The first step is to inform the bank immediately about the theft or loss and to request a block of the account.
The toll-free number for this is 116 116 and is valid worldwide or even around the clock.
Subsequently, it is necessary to check the card transactions and regular statements of your account. If you discover any discrepancies, you must make a complaint about any damage immediately or report any abusive debits immediately to your financial institution. In this way, you can avoid having to assume liability for credit card fraud yourself. It is also advisable that you report the loss of your credit card to the police and file a complaint. You can find more information about payment card fraud on the official police website.
This can be used by the bank as proof that you will be refunded your money. In the last step, if you ask yourself the question: “What to do if you lose your credit card”, it is recommended that you document and record everything exactly. These individual details include
- the exact date,
- when your card was stolen or lost and
- when you initiated the lockout.
Charges for blocking in the event of credit card fraud are inadmissible
Remember that banks and credit card providers are not allowed to charge for blocking your card. This is based on § 675 ff paragraph 4 of the UK Civil Code (UCC). According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice in 2015, credit card providers and banks may not charge any fee for a replacement card.
Timely complaints in case of credit card fraud are important
The topic “What to do if you lose your credit card” also deals with the issue of complaints. This should be done as soon as possible, but at the latest when you discover irregularities on your credit card statement or account transactions. If your account is debited with an unjustified debit, you have eight weeks from the actual date of the debit to file a complaint.
It is important that you always complain in writing. Many banks offer a special form for this purpose, which you should simply fill in and justify the amounts complained about. If you complain about card transactions that you have demonstrably not made yourself, the card provider must reimburse you.
The question of liability for credit card misuse is clearly regulated
If credit card fraud has occurred and, for example, a loan has been applied for, different liability possibilities may arise. In principle, the law stipulates a maximum liability of 150.00 GBP for you as the cardholder. This liability will be incurred if your card is stolen or misused. This regulation is laid down in § 675v of the UCC. You can find out when you as the cardholder are liable for a lost card or for credit card fraud in the individual terms and conditions of your card provider.
Please note, however, that in the event of gross negligence or wilful misconduct, you will be liable for your own losses resulting from theft or credit card fraud.
This applies to the full amount of the loss incurred. Gross negligence is when you fail to report the loss of the card or fraud to the bank quickly. Storing your PIN and credit card in the same place, for example in your wallet, is also classified as intent and means that the bank accepts no liability whatsoever.
Important precautions to prevent credit card fraud
By your behavior, you can do a lot to prevent the theft or misuse of your credit card data in the first place. One of these is that you should never simply throw your bank statements in the paper trash. Put them in the shredder or tear up the sheets. You should also buy a “credit card protective cover” so that fraudsters don’t have a chance to scan and read your credit card. When shopping online, also make sure that you buy from a reputable shop.