Bank card fraud: what to do in case of a scam?

29 May 2022
arnque bank card fraud internet what to do luxembourg

Do debits to your bank account seem suspicious? Do you not recognise certain payments? You could be the victim of a fraud or a bank card scam. If you have any doubts: here's how to react.

Identify that it is a credit card fraud

Check that it is not a mistake or an oversight

The first step is to check that these are fraudulent payments, as in some cases it may be a mistake or an oversight. Therefore :

  • Analyse the dates of payments made Were you travelling at the time? Or at home in Luxembourg? Did you use your card in a restaurant, shop or elsewhere?
  • Analyse the name of the debtor. If you are not familiar with it, ask yourself if you have paid at an establishment you do not usually visit. Make a complete list of your trips and payments. You may find that these are payments you have made.

You have analysed your movements and payments, and you still have a doubt? Then go to the next step.

Recognising credit card fraud

Fraudulent payments made from a bank account generally have similarities:

  • The payments are numerous and close in time (they are made on the same day or within a few days of each other). The thief will know that you will soon realise this and block your card. He will therefore take advantage of the short time he has to make as many debits as possible.
  • Payments are usually made by the same debtor. Fraudsters have a few sites they know well for shopping: they will take advantage of this to do all their shopping in one place.
  • The payments are sometimes the same amount (but not all the time). If you see several debits of the same amount from a debtor you do not know, there is a good chance that it is a credit card fraud.

If you see any of these characteristics and do not remember making these payments, then you are potentially a victim of a credit card scam. There are two ways in which the fraudsters could have obtained your credit card numbers:

  • Either via an online scam
  • Either by stealing your physical card (in the street or in your coat pocket for example).

Fraudsters will then take advantage of your bank card to make payments on sites that do not have 3D Secure authentication systems. They will be able to pay without verifying their identity, and will then proceed to debit your bank account as quickly as possible, before you block your card.

The most common bank card scams

Internet scams

The most common Internet scam is the Phishing It is an email or SMS that pretends to be a well-known company and asks for your credit card numbers. It is a scam: the fraudsters use the company's image and make you believe that it is an official communication.

This is some examples of phishing situations :

  1. You receive an SMS or email from a carrier (POST, UPS, DHL, etc.) informing you that your package is blocked and that you have to pay a customs fee to unblock it.
  2. You receive an email from a service provider (Internet, mobile, electricity, insurance) asking you to update your payment methods or personal data.
  3. You receive an email pretending to be a Luxembourg public administration (Taxes, National Health Fund) and asks you for your credit card numbers to make a so-called refund.

Some tips to avoid falling into the trap:

  1. When an email requests an action from you, always check the sender's email address (you can see the full address by replying to the email for example). If it is an address you do not know, report the email as SPAM and do not click on any links in the body of the message.
  2. As a matter of principle, never give out your credit card numbers or any personal information following an email or SMS. If you have done so by mistake, move on to the next step immediately.
  3. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email or SMS, call the customer service department of the company concerned. They will be able to tell you whether it is a scam or an official communication.

To put it plainly: as a matter of principle, always be wary of communications that ask you for personal or banking information. If the reason is really important, the company or administration will send you a letter by post, or the customer service department will call you directly.

Theft of card numbers in shops

The most common physical scams are carried out by some unscrupulous traders.

  • They will ask you for your bank card to make the payment, take it and then discreetly take a picture of your bank card numbers.
  • They will then resell these numbers on the Darknet for a few dozen euros.
  • A fraudster will then use your numbers to make purchases on the Internet with your card.

These situations are rare, but they do exist. For example, when making a payment, always keep your bank card in your hand Do not leave it to anyone else.

How to react in case of a bank card scam?

You have identified that you are a victim of credit card fraud? Here is how to react:

  1. Block your means of payment immediately. Do this as soon as possible, because as long as the card is not blocked, the fraudster can continue to use the money in your account. To find out how to stop payment on your bank card, follow this guide.
  2. Contact your bank to request reimbursement of the stolen money. Most banks reimburse stolen fees under certain conditions. Your bank will inform you about the procedure to follow and the refund limits in force.
  3. Ask your advisor to replace your bank card. You will then have a new card number that no thief will have. However, some banks charge for replacing your card. Check with your advisor to see if you will be charged extra.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I've been scammed on the Internet: what can I do?

If you have given your credit card numbers to a stranger on the Internet, stop payment immediately and block your card. This will prevent the thieves from using your card to make payments for you. Then contact your bank advisor to inform him/her of the situation. He or she will tell you what to do next.

What to do in case of a credit card scam?

In the event of a bank card scam, here are the steps to follow: first, check that you have indeed noticed fraudulent payments on your account or that you have given your card numbers to an unknown person on the Internet. Next, stop payment and block your card. Thieves will no longer be able to use it to debit your account. Finally, contact your bank to ask for a refund of the stolen money and to order a new bank card so that you can pay again. However, some banks will charge you for sending a new card.

How long does it take to get your money back in the event of a credit card scam?

It depends on your bank and the extent of the scam. In general, refunds following credit card fraud take 3 weeks to 1 month. But it can take longer. Ask your bank about their repayment terms.

How do you know if your bank card has been hacked?

There are two cases:
- You have just given your credit card numbers on the Internet and have a doubt afterwards Check the email address of the sender or the domain name of the website where you entered your numbers. Most scammers pose as a known organisation (internet provider, mobile phone provider, parcel carrier, POST, tax office, CNS...) and then ask for your card. If the email address or the website address is different from the formats used by the organisation in question, block your payment methods and contact your bank.
- You notice several suspicious payments on your bank account Try to remember any unusual trips, activities or payments you may have made on that date. If the amounts are numerous, similar and do not remind you of anything, then stop your card and inform your bank advisor.

How can I find someone who has used my bank card?

You cannot trace the fraudster who used your bank card: most of the time, thieves make purchases or use false addresses. However, you can ask your bank to reimburse you.

Is it dangerous to give out your bank card?

Yes, do not give out your bank card under any circumstances. Even if you are a customer, if a shopkeeper wants to take your card to make a payment, we advise you to refuse to give it to him. Instead, ask him to bring the payment terminal to you. You will make the payment, and you will keep control of your card.

What are the frauds linked to the payment by bank card?

The most well-known fraud is phishing: scammers pretend to be a well-known company and send you an email or SMS asking for your credit card numbers. Most of the time, the fraudsters then use your credit card numbers to make purchases on the Internet for you. They use websites that do not require Luxtrust or 3D Secure authentication. This allows them to make many purchases and easily steal the money in your bank account. If you notice any fraudulent payments on your account, stop your card immediately and inform your bank advisor.

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