Do you shield your pin number when using cash machines?

Card fraud has now reached its highest half year level since 2009 as consumers are tricked into handing over their details.  Fraudsters are posing as police officers to gather information along with posing as bank fraud investigators to deceive people into handing over their cards or four digit pin numbers.

An estimated £216m has been lost to fraudsters via credit and debit cards in the first half of the year.  A 17% increase on the same period in 2012.

The Financial Fraud Action which represents the financial services industry commented that figures were still well below the peak of £304m in 2008.

Shoulder Surfing

Fraud by telephone is also on the rise by 23%, with online- and mail order shopping following. This is due to increased buying over the internet as it continues to grow.

Identity theft has risen by 24% and counterfeiting was up 15% where consumer’s cards are being cloned or skimmed.

In June 2013, Financial Fraud Action warned consumers about “shoulder surfing”.  This is when thieves will look over a person’s shoulder while they key in their pin number at card machine.  A distraction tactic then takes place whilst waiting for the card to come out of the machine enabling the thief to snatch and make off with the card.

The move towards these low-tech crimes of deception highlights the importance of consumers knowing how they can protect themselves,” said Detective Chief Inspector Dave Carter, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit.

“Whether victims are targeted on the phone or online, we know that these professional conmen are highly persuasive.”

A couple of points to remember:

  • No one will ever ask you for your pin number or log in details
  • If you shop online make sure the sites are secure featuring a padlock icon (see our previous blog on Website Security)
  • Shield your pin number at all times when entering it at card machines

Have you has any of the above ever happen to you?