5 ways to prevent identity theft and credit card fraud

Credit card cloning fraud increased 38% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

5 min read

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

5 ways to prevent identity theft and credit card fraud
5 ways to prevent identity theft and credit card fraud

Unrecognized charges on credit cards, especially in transactions that are made without a physical card, either by phone purchases or online, are the main cause of claims before the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Service Users Financial (Condusef).

Credit card cloning fraud increased 38% in 2019 compared to the previous year, which meant that cyber fraud generated losses of more than 8,500 million pesos. And despite the fact that almost 90% of this type of crime is resolved in favor of the user, the clarification takes up to 6 weeks or more to resolve.

“The most dangerous thing about fraud or identity theft with cards is not to notice immediately, but one day you suddenly notice irregularities in your statements, charges you don't know, or worse: they deny you a credit for having an open one that you did not request, or you discover months later that you are registered as a delinquent customer in the Credit Bureau, and even that someone else charged your name for an insurance or pending pension, ”says Luis Madrigal, director of the service platform financial,.

In the crime of theft or impersonation, a third party takes without authorization the personal data of the account holder, to make purchases, contract credits, documents or any other financial benefit on behalf of the affected.

In order to guide cardholders about methods to avoid the risk of identity theft, the following recommendations are compiled:

1. Control the network

When making transactions online and paying by credit or debit card, it is best not to use public equipment such as Internet cafes or unprotected wireless networks (open Wi-Fi). If you are going to buy online, you must use pages that have security certificates and that in the search bar have a lock icon before the site address.

2. Change passwords

As a healthy habit, at least three times a year, change passwords for all your devices and accounts, including email, your online banking keys, cell phone or computer unlock patterns, and even the network password domestic you use to access the internet at home.

3. Shield financial information on the cell phone

This includes installing only official applications from Google Play Store; or Apple App Store. Other apps such as games that are installed outside official stores gain access to your information and the same can show advertising or extract data, including your bank information.

On mobile devices it is also recommended to install some type of antivirus, especially if the phone stores vulnerable information in financial terms: account numbers, financial statements and password registration. Computer security companies such as Norton or Kaspersky have smartphone versions.

Finally, avoid having the bluetooth active, as it gives access to the device. If a public network is used, avoid opening bank apps or e-wallets.

4. Activate biometric verification data

By official provision, as of March 2020, all banks will be required to implement biometric elements, starting with the fingerprint, in the authentication of customers opening accounts and credits. It is also advisable to activate the biometric restriction of access to the smartphone's operating system, such as fingerprint or facial recognition.

5. Plastics shield

There are some banks that sell insurance or extra shielding against credit card fraud at an additional cost; generally what they include is a longer term of protection; that is, they cover for a period greater than 48 hours established by the Law after fraudulent charges are detected. An example is Money + Insurance coverage for customers with debit accounts and / or Scotiabank checking accounts.

Another modality, at no additional cost to the customer, is the card without numbers or visible data provided by Banco Santander, which is used in combination with a QR code, the e-wallet and a dynamic digital card to make purchases online, and it has a chip and PIN to pay in physical establishments, without exposing any data written on the plastic.

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