Criminals have become so sophisticated these days, they can rob you even if they’re nowhere near you. Their ticket to your hard-earned money is your personal information. To protect yourself, you are going to have to arm yourself… with knowledge.

In this blog, we'll shed some light on Card Not Present fraud and some of the ways criminals will try to get their hands on your personal details.

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud

CNP fraud happens when the neither the card, nor the cardholder, are present. These fraudulent transactions are performed by using only the card details. A good example of this is the manner in which products can be bought over the internet.

A criminal committing CNP fraud is constantly looking to exploit any lapses in security to extract your personal information. One of the most commons methods relates to Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO) transactions. MOTO transactions involve the customer sharing their personal details with the seller or merchant, often in an unsecure manner.

This is just the opportunity CNP fraudsters are looking for. Once they get their hands on the information, they are able to make many purchases using your details and money, often without you realising it. The consequences can be devastating, and long-term, leaving you saddled with crippling debt and a damaged credit record.

Here are a few ways in which fraudsters will try to get hold of your information

Digital attacks

As more people become comfortable with shopping and banking online, fraudsters can turn their attention to a rapidly increasing range of targets. Due to the enhanced security on reputable websites, criminals are forced to employ ever more sneaky measures. A digital attack allows them to mine your personal information, and then use it to access your bank account.

How it works

  • A fraudster gains access to your email account and trolls for banking information.
  • The fraudster accesses your online banking site and initiates a password change.
  • The bank sends a One-Time PIN (OTP) to the email account as part of the two-factor authentication protocol.
  • The fraudster uses the OTP to complete a password change, enabling access to the individual's bank account.

Device Cloning

We practically live on our phones. We store personal information there, and use them to bank and shop. That makes our phones ideal targets for fraudsters. Using stolen ID information, they can take control of legitimate phone numbers, allowing them a way past two-factor authentication security measures. In this way, they can gain access to your emails and banking app login details.

Digital wallets stored on mobile devices carry large amounts of valuable information, including account numbers, passwords, phone numbers and email addresses. Unfortunately, phone hacking software is now also easily available online, making it easier for even inexperienced fraudsters to target you.

How it works

  • A fraudster obtains your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data from the dark web.
  • The fraudster calls your service provider, claiming the mobile phone is lost.
  • The fraudster provides the stolen PII data to verify their identity, and requests a new SIM card for the phone.
  • Your service provider sends out a new SIM card and disables the one in your phone.
  • The fraudster uses the newly issued SIM card to gain access to login information protected by two-factor authentication.

Social Engineering

All human beings are fallible. Some fraudsters are masters at exploiting our weak points to gain access to personal details. They'll use manipulation, persuasion or deception to get you to drop your guard.

How to protect yourself against CNP fraud

  • Never share your personal information with anyone.
  • Subscribe to your bank’s notification services. This means you will immediately know when money leaves your account, and why.
  • Review your account statements carefully to spot any suspicious transactions.
  • Do not click on hyperlinks in emails or SMSs, especially if they are from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
  • Protect your cards as if they were cash. Check to make sure that the card you receive back after a purchase is actually your card.
  • Check your transaction slips to make sure the information is correct. Then tear them up before discarding them.
  • Don't use the same PIN for different cards. In this way, if one is lost or stolen, the others will stay protected.
  • If you are shopping online, only enter your card details on secure websites.

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