The Complete Guide to Credit Card Fraud

Written by
Marissa Saini
Last Modified on
March 28, 2024

Unauthorised card transactions in Singapore jumped to 460% in 2020. The irony is that most frauds involve some form of recklessness on the card holder’s part. And, you actually have to bear charges if you’re caught being reckless with sensitive card information or took no immediate actions upon unauthorised transactions. 

That’s why you must be aware of how card frauds work and learn what immediate actions you can take for business credit card fraud protection. In this blog, we cover what card fraud is, preventive measures and steps to take right after you encounter card fraud. 

What is card fraud?

Credit card fraud occurs when somebody, generally a scammer, uses your card for shopping or withdrawal without your knowledge. He/she steals your card or card information to do so. 

In this case, you must inform your card provider ASAP. If you delay or withhold information from your card provider in case of credit card fraud, you’ll be considered responsible for any unauthorised transaction that takes place. 

Types of common fraud practices

Stolen Cards 

Criminals may find your lost card or steal them right from your possession. Once in their possession, they can syphon your funds from the card. 

Stealing card info - Phishing and Skimmers 

Devices like skimmers copy your credit card details and fraudsters use them to create a fake credit card. Malicious software like Malware, Trojan and Spyware can copy and transfer your card information to the hacker. 

Scammers can get into your system via malicious files that you download unknowingly. They steal your company’s personal information to breach your finances which can cost you millions and deteriorate your brand image. 

Applying for a new card under a fake name 

A malicious actor can steal your personal information like name, address and phone number, and use it to get a card under your name. They change your address to receive the new card at their desired location. Once they get ahold of your card, they can use it for whatever they like, for instance, online shopping. 

Account Hijacking 

Account Hijacking is the next step after applying to steal your identity. The hacker can present your card as stolen, change the address on your account and apply for a brand new card on the new address. After getting a hold of the card, he can use it wherever he likes. 

Intercepting cards from e-mail

Stealing information from the web has become disturbingly easy. Hackers can steal new credit card information that you receive via email. 

Access via Public Wifi network 

As work from home becomes prevalent, many employees work from cafes or other public co-working spaces where they use public wifi. Fraudsters can steal data from such sources by hacking into the system. Sadly, there are a lot of ways hackers can get into public wifi: 

  • Man in the Middle or MITM Attacks: Hackers get in the middle of server-client links and intercept their communication. Basically, you unknowingly provide your personal information to the hackers’ site. 
  • Fake Wifi: Hackers use any device with the internet like smartphones to set up an access point. It leads you to join the wrong network with the same as a genuine hotspot. Any data that you transfer via this network directly goes to the hacker. 
  • Packet Sniffing: This name might be funny but it can cost you a lot of money - that rhymed. A hacker sends data packets across an unencrypted network and collects data in bulk. Then, he scans through at his leisure for sensitive information.

How do you prevent card fraud or minimise the damage?

With card fraud on the rise in Singapore, you have to be extra alert. Card providers have sophisticated systems in place to reduce the chance of a breach. But your attentiveness is also necessary to prevent credit card fraud. Most people and companies believe that they’re smart enough to identify a fraudulent link or email when they see one. But technology has sadly given hackers an upper hand. 

Below are ways you can safeguard your finances in case of a card breach: 

Regularly Analyse Your Credit Card Statements 

Analyse your transactions carefully to identify any shady activity. It can be an item that you didn’t buy, a bill that you didn’t pay or a withdrawal you didn’t make. Hackers don’t always go for huge lump sum theft, they can make small transactions that may miss the card holder’s eye. Cross-check with your card service provider if you see anything out of the ordinary. 

Set Transaction Alerts

Transaction alerts help with instant credit card fraud detection, especially for businesses. You may receive a notification when a large sum is withdrawn or your card is used from another region. Open that pop-up each time and read it thoroughly to ensure no unauthorised transaction has occurred. This can highly reduce the chances of business credit card fraud. Aspire provides real-time notifications on payment status so you always keep track of your payments.

Choose a card with minimum liability on unauthorised transactions 

Banks in Singapore waived $500,000 in card liabilities stolen from 75 customers which means you can save losses by taking immediate actions against credit card frauds in Singapore. On average, banks and card providers charge $100 for unauthorised credit card transactions in Singapore.

Go paperless

Go paperless with your billing statements to prevent them from getting stolen. Also, shred your receipts after shopping with a card or withdrawing money from an ATM. 

Build the right procedures 

If you’re running a business, the chances of internal fraud increase. Right procedures help ensure credit card fraud protection for your small businesses. Set spend limits for each employee and run regular audits to catch frauds right when they happen. 

Aspire lets you set strict budgets and deploy them across teams. You allot budget owners who manage budgets across their teams. This distributes the overall load which leads to efficient expense tracking and thus business credit card fraud protection. 

Use an expense management app 

To err is human. If you have multiple credit cards or send and receive multiple payments in a month, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. You can’t keep checking notifications all the time, especially if you're running a business. An expense management app does that for you. 

Aspire has tons of features that help small businesses prevent credit card fraud.  It makes it almost impossible to miss an unauthorised payment. 

  • Keep a check on your budget with approval flows. You get notified in real-time and approve transactions with your fingertips. 
  • You can see all expenditures in real-time so no unauthorised payment misses your eye. 
  • When not in use, you can freeze your card to avoid fraud. 
  • In case of fraud, you can cancel your card instantly. 

How to React in Case of Card Fraud - Things to do Immediately After

You’re liable to cover all unauthorised credit card transactions in Singapore if it’s proved your recklessness caused the fraud. What you do right after the fraud determines if you’re responsible for it.

  • Did you yourself hand over sensitive information like OTP or pin while engaging with an unsolicited caller from the “bank”? 
  • Did you inform your card provider immediately after you encountered fraud? 

To avoid losses, follow these steps immediately after a card fraud has occurred: 

Call the Bank

This should be your first step right after you suspect fraudulent activity. Hotline numbers are generally available 24/7. The bank freezes or blocks your card so the hacker won’t be able to make any transactions. You will receive a new one at your registered address in around 10 business days. 

At this time, the card issuer investigates the fraud to find out who’s responsible for the fraud. They may also provide provisional credit to your account which they reverse if you’re found responsible for the fraud. 

Update your Security Details 

Update your security details like compromised passwords and pins right after you encounter unauthorised expenses. 

Monitor All Expenses 

After reporting the fraud, analyse all unauthorised transactions. It’s not necessary that you caught the fraud as and when it occurred. It may be going on for quite a while. If the fraud began well before 14 days, you may have a chance of recourse. To track past and future expenses for at least a month. 

Switch GIRO arrangements

If you have GIRO arrangements tied to your compromised card, it’s time you switch them over to the new card. If you’ve partnered with Aspire, the payment goes through your approval. It lets you schedule payments which you can approve or cancel anytime you want. It lets you have full control of who and when you pay, thus, ensuring credit card fraud prevention for your small business.

Helpline numbers for Singapore

  • Visa: 800-110-0344
  • American Express: 1800 732 2244
  • Bank of China: 1800-66-95566
  • Aspire: +65 3165 1500
  • Citibank: 1800 225 5225
  • CIMB: +65 6333 6666
  • DBS/POSB: 1800 339 6963
  • Diners Club: 6416 0900
  • HSBC: 1800 4722 669
  • ICBC:  +65 6538 1088
  • Maybank: 1800 629 2265
  • OCBC: 1800 363 3333
  • Standard Chartered: 1800 747 7000
  • UOB: 1800 222 2121

Secure your payments with Aspire 

Aspire lets you stay one step ahead of a scammer with efficient automation and spend tracking. Allow Aspire to help you with real-time notifications, budget allocation and approval flows so you don’t have to do all this manually. With automation, nothing misses your eye and you immediately catch fraud when it happens. Become an Aspire partner today to enjoy benefits at your fingertips. 

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About the author
Marissa Saini
is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
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