How to Avoid Credit & Debit Card Fraud With Irelands SafeCard.ie & The IPSO

David Allan

Written by David Allan on November 15, 2018

Updated November 22, 2018

Avoid Credit and debt card fraud SafeCard

The Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) claims that card fraud is a rapidly growing concern in the UK and Ireland and has serious impacts for all of us – not just on banks and building societies but on retailers and cardholders as well.

The SafeCard.ie website has now closed, however it was established by the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) to raise awareness about the harmful effects of card fraud. The IPSO website offers simple, yet effective loss prevention advice to retailers and consumers.

Tops Tips to stay safe for Cardholders

Paying for goods using credit cards is a very convenient method of payment. Of course there is always a risk involved and there is a chance that you will fall victim to credit card fraud. Theft and loss of credit and ATM cards can cause you serious inconvenience. Before you realise your card has been compromised, the criminal(s) can run up many fraudulent transactions.

Lost/Stolen Cards – General Safety Guidelines

Fraud perpetrated on cards which have been lost or stolen accounts for an astonishing proportion of card fraud. This is why it is so important to report any incident to your card issuer immediately. It will save you a lot of time and hassle and the issuer is able to put a stop on the card such that fraudsters are unable to run up credit card bills in your name and hence avoid the risk of damaging your credit rating.

  • Keep your card safe at all times.
  • Cut up old cards. Cut through the account number and magnetic stripe before disposing of them.
  • Sign new cards immediately.
  • Don’t let the card out of your sight when making a transaction.
  • Check your receipts against your statements carefully. If you find a transaction you are unfamiliar with contact your card issuer immediately.
  • Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and never disclose it to anyone, even if they claim to be from your card issuer or the police.
  • When using a cash machine, be wary of anyone who might be trying to watch you enter your PIN and do not allow yourself to be distracted by anyone trying to talk to you.
  • Report lost or stolen cards to your card issuer immediately. Click here for the 24-hour emergency numbers.
  • Keep financial information (i.e. account numbers, bank statements, ATM and sales receipts etc.) in a secure place before disposing of it all. This will prevent ‘bin divers’ from acquiring information about you and your cards.
  • Be prepared in case your card is lost or stolen. Keep a file with your card issuer’s name and telephone number and your account number. Have this separate from your wallet in case it’s stolen too.
  • Be Safe at the ATM

    • Guard your PIN number, so that no one around you can see it
    • Be aware of any damage or obvious fixtures to the ATM that look out of the ordinary
    • If you are suspicious, walk away
    • Be aware of the people around you, especially those standing close by
    • When using a cash machine, be wary of anyone who might be trying to watch you enter your PIN and do not allow yourself to be distracted by anyone trying to talk to you.
    • Report lost or stolen cards to your card issuer immediately.
    • Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive. Ensure that you cut up the old cards as soon as the new ones become valid.
    • Always take precautions when keying in your PIN at the ATM and never divert your attention away from the ATM while your card is in the machine.
    • Do not carelessly discard receipts from your card transactions.
    • It is recommended that you check your receipts against your statement each month and of if you don’t recognise any transactions let your issuer know immediately.
    • Make sure that anyone waiting to use the ATM after you cannot see you entering your PIN.
    • Cancel your transaction and leave immediately if you see anything suspicious. Confirm with your issuer as soon as possible that the transaction was cancelled.
    • Other important tips:

  • Don’t keep your cheque book with your cards.
  • If you carry a bag, carry it firmly with the clasp towards you. A money belt or secure inside pocket is best for valuables.
  • Don’t leave cards unattended in a bag, briefcase or jacket pocket in a public place and keep your bag or briefcase on your lap.
  • At work keep your bag and other personal belongings locked in a cupboard or drawer
  • Counterfeiting Prevention / Protection

    Counterfeiting or “Skimming” is the practice of copying the magnetic stripe of a legitimate credit or debit card through a small handheld device called a “skimmer”.

    Criminals use the data captured by these devices to clone and create fake credit cards. Counterfeiting can also occur at ATMs and consumers are asked to be vigilant when withdrawing cash.

    Because your cards can be used fraudulently, even though the actual cards are safely in your care, it is vital to check your statements every month. The sooner you spot and report any transactions you didn’t do, the sooner the bank / financial institution that issued your card can stop the fraudster buying goods and services in your name.

    The guidelines below will help ensure your strong protection for your cards.

    How do I protect myself from becoming a victim of Counterfeit Card Fraud?

    • Protect your cards – treat them in the same way that you would treat your cash.
    • When paying for a meal or service don’t let the card out of your sight.
    • Ensure that you get your card back after every transaction.
    • Check your monthly balance statements for any suspicious payments made on your card.
    • Report suspected fraudulent use of your card account to your card issuer immediately.
    • Click here for the 24-hour emergency LOST or STOLEN numbers.

    At ATMs:

    • Protect your cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) at all times.
    • Guard against disclosing your PIN to anyone, particularly when carrying out ATM transactions.
    • Be alert to anything unusual occurring while using your cards at ATMs and report this directly to the bank in question or the Gardaí.

    On-line Shopping – staying safe

    The growth of e-commerce has led more and more people to buy from companies who sell goods and services on-line. The concern about security in any CNP (Card Not Present) environment is an ongoing debate. However, the vast majority of business operating online are honest and legitimate organisations.

    If you follow a few simple guidelines there is no reason why shopping over the Internet should be any less secure than shopping on the high street. You have many of the same, if not more consumer rights.

    • Know with whom you are dealing. Try to find out as much as you can about the merchant before you purchase anything.
    • Be in a secure environment at the point of purchase. The beginning of the retailer’s Internet address will change from ‘http’ to ‘https’ before a purchase is made using a secure connection.
    • Click on the security icon (the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol) to ensure that the retailer has an encryption certificate. This should explain the type and extent of security and encryption it uses.
    • Make sure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring. The safety options are not always activated by default when you install your computer.
    • Print out your order and keep copies of the retailer’s terms and conditions and returns policy. There may be additional charges such as local taxes and postage, particularly if you are purchasing from abroad. When buying from overseas remember that it may be difficult to seek redress if problems arise.
    • Ensure you are fully aware of any payment commitments you are entering into, including whether you are instructing a single payment or a series of payments.
    • If you have any doubts about giving your card details, find another vendor offering similar goods or another method of payment.
    • Be cautious about emails that offer credit services. Many unsolicited emails are fraudulent.
    • If you use a password to log on to your network or computer, use a different password for orders or merchant accounts. Some websites may require you to create a password for future orders. The best passwords are not your address, birth date, phone number, or recognisable words.

    Shopping Over the Phone / Mail Order

    • If you’re more comfortable with giving your card details over the phone than over the Internet, make a note of the phone number, company, the date and time of your call, and the name of the person who recorded your credit card number.
    • Know who you are dealing with – get the seller’s phone number (not a mobile) and a postal address (not a post office box).

    Identity Fraud – Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe

    Identity theft, whereby someone gets access to your bank account or gets credit credit cards or loans in your name, is a growing problem, and you should carefully guard any personal information that might allow a thief to impersonate you.

    • Always keep important personal documents, plastic cards and cheque books in a safe and secure place. Keep cheque books and cards separately. Valuable documents include your passport, birth certificate, driving licence, plastic cards, card receipts, financial statements and even utility bills. Without access to this information a criminal will find it very difficult to pretend to be you.
    • Don’t share personal information unless you are entirely confident you know who you are dealing with. Be particularly cautious if you are cold-called by someone claiming to be from a bank or the police. Your bank would only ever ask for specific characters within your password, not the whole password. Ask them for their number, check it and call them back. Also, be wary of responding to e-mails requesting information about you. If in doubt, ask for proof of identity or undertake your own checks. Never disclose your card PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone.
    • Dispose of financial statements, card receipts and other personal documents with care. Rip up or preferably shred any such documents before binning them.
    • Always check bank statements, and check receipts against your statements carefully. If you find an unfamiliar transaction, contact your card issuer or bank immediately.
    • Be aware that your post is valuable information in the wrong hands. If you fail to receive a bank statement, card statement, utility bill or other financial information contact the supplier. How easy would it be for somebody to intercept your post? If you receive a credit card application and you don’t use it rip it up before binning it.
    • Guard your cards. Don’t let them out of your sight when making a transaction. Report lost and stolen cards, or suspected fraudulent use of your card account, to your bank or building society immediately. Keep a note of your card issuers’ telephone numbers so that you can report lost or stolen cards.
    • If you move house make sure you contact your bank and all other organisations to give them your change of address (the Post Office can redirect post on request).
    • You should only give your password and credit card number in a secure connection on a web site, not in ordinary e-mail.
    • ATM Fraud Poster From SafeCard website

      ATM Fraud from SafeCard

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