Commerce around the world has successfully moved from a cash based society to cashless financial transactions. Credit and debit card cyber crimes command an impressive chunk of the cyber crime statistics.  Considering the kind of damage that identity theft and credit card fraud can have on their lives, many credit and debit card users want to know just how prevalent these crimes are. Credit card fraud is a serious problem which affects the entire consumer credit industry. It is not only one of the fastest-growing types of fraud and also one of the most difficult to prevent.

Despite strong measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India to prevent credit and debit card fraud, India was ranked among the top five countries globally that are vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to the 2016 Global Consumer Fraud Report published by payments technology company ACI Worldwide.

The National Crime Records Bureau — in its 2017 report on crime in India — has captured credit card fraud in its statistics for the first time. It recorded that In FY20, more than 50,000 cases — 52,006 to be precise — of fraudulent usage of debit cards, credit cards and internet banking were reported in India, as stated by Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Sanjay Dhotre in Parliament today. The amount involved in these fraudulent transactions is Rs 228.44 Crore. In FY 2019, though the number of cases was larger, the amount relating to fraudulent usage was less than FY20 at Rs 149.42 Crore. The data for FY20 is till December 2019. Also, between FY17 and FY20, a total of 140,471 cases of fraudulent usage of debit cards, credit cards and internet banking were reported, with the amount relating to fraudulent usage being Rs 589.14 Crore. The number and amount related to such cases can potentially be higher, since fraud cases below Rs. 100,000 were not required to be reported to RBI prior to April 1, 2017. 

Those who have become victims of credit or debit card fraud, experience deep trauma and emotional shock, apart from undergoing much inconvenience and hassle. Trust is breached and anger, frustration and worry disrupt of the harmony of their normal routine. Post such experiences the victims lose a sense of trust and are ridden by constant concern for a long time, depending on the cause of the fraud which victimized them. Anyone who has been defrauded in a credit card or debit card crime instinctively has a couple of questions which they seek answers to, to attain clarity of the steps they must take to handle the threatening situation.  

How do credit card frauds happen? 

Are credit card fraudsters caught? 

How are credit card frauds caught? 

How often do credit card frauds get caught?

How is credit card fraud investigated?

Credit and Debit Card Frauds can be classified into two categories, ‘card-present’ and ‘card-absent’. Credit card fraudsters do not need the physical presence of your card to commit a fraud or crime against you.

Card-present Crimes:

Credit or debit card is stolen. The fraudsters will steal credit or debit cards and use them to execute transactions. Cards may be stolen by various means, including when they arrive by mail, in which case they are intercepted before they reach you.

Usage of lost or found credit or debit card: It has been observed that when a credit or debit card is lost the finders often cannot resist trying to use to make in-store purchases.

Fraudulent Takeover of Account — A fraudster will avail a new card in your name by using use your identity specific personal information denoting your  address or names etc., to contact the credit card issuing bank, impersonating  you.  They will claim that your card has been lost or stolen, reporting change of address, and get the bank to send them a new card. Stealing a person’s identity in order to receive a credit card is another more threatening form of credit card fraud, because it works in conjunction with identity theft. 

Skimming information to create Counterfeit cards — A device known as the skimmer is mostly used in ATMs to scan the credit card information which is then used to create a counterfeit card. 

Card-not-present : The advancement of fin-tech is continuing to revolutionize the financial domain. However, along with the increased ease in executing financial transactions, also has provided credit card criminals with the advantage of engaging in crime without physical need of a card. All they need is the basic info such as the credit card details and cardholder’s name to commit mail order or online fraud. Using the credit card number without possession of the actual card is an increasing form of credit card fraud. 

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