the most common and how to avoid them

Attempts of virtual financial scams grew 100% in February this year compared to the previous month in Brazil. Photo: Getty Creative.

  • In 2021, the amount transacted via card was BRL 2.65 trillion, an increase of 33.1% compared to 2020;

  • Online purchases increased about 30% last year, moving BRL 569.7 billion;

  • With an increase in the number of users making online purchases with a credit card, many criminals see an opportunity to apply scams.

The number of credit card users and people shopping online has increased in the last year. According to the Brazilian Association of Credit Card Companies and Services (Abecs), in 2021 the amount transacted via card was BRL 2.65 trillion, an increase of 33.1% compared to 2020. credit cards reached R$ 1.6 trillion, a value 36.6% higher.

Online shopping increased by about 30% last year, moving BRL 569.7 billion. Transactions via credit card were responsible for moving R$ 550.1 million, according to Abecs.

In this context of an increase in number of users making online purchases with a credit card, many criminals see an opportunity to apply scams. Recent data from a survey carried out by the cybersecurity company Psafe revealed that attempts at financial cyber scams grew 100% in February compared to the previous month in Brazil. In all, more than one million blocks were recorded because of this type of criminal action.

Here are some of the top credit card scams and how to avoid them:

  1. Card exchange scam

  2. Credit card scam over the phone

  3. “Angel removal” scam

  4. Credit card purchases on fake websites

Card exchange scam

This is a more common type of scam in informal businesses or even in ATM transactions. How it works? Scammers who work as sellers, for example, can, from a distraction of the victim, make the password to be inserted in the machine in the field that should be entered the value of the purchase and thus memorize the numbers entered. Then, when returning the card after completing the purchase, they exchange it for a similar one. This can also happen with the scammer watching what password is being typed.

To avoid this type of fraud, it is important to be aware when entering the password and also check that the card is the original at checkout.

Credit card scam over the phone

The elderly are the main victims of this type of scam. The fraud is sophisticated and consists of the following mechanism: criminals contact the user as if they were representatives of the bank’s anti-fraud sector and even use software that imitates call center music. From this contact, they inform that the victim’s card has been cloned and is being used in high-value financial transactions. During the service, they induce the victim to type the card’s password on the keyboard and in this way manage to steal the numbers.

Then, they inform that a bank employee motoboy, even using fake badges, will pick up the card at home. Scammers inform you that you need to cut the card in two parts, but even with the card destroyed, they manage to recover the chip and use it in new cards.

To avoid this type of scam, you need to be aware when you receive alleged calls from the call center. Call the center directly to verify the veracity of the facts and do not provide data such as passwords in incoming calls.

“Angel removal” scam

This is a type of scam that takes place in the cyber field. Dubbed “angel removal”, the tactic consists of removing protection notifications and authentications sent by banks to customers.

For this scam, criminals need to obtain the victim’s personal data which can be obtained in different ways. Then, the scammer downloads the bank application and, posing as the victim, asks for the cancellation of notifications that confirm purchases made, for example, via SMS and through the mobile app itself. In this way, criminals use the card’s credit function for various online purchases and without this “angel” that informs about the transactions carried out, the user takes longer to realize that he is being a victim of a scam.

For this scam, it is necessary to avoid placing personal data or passing information about this data in places that are not secure.

Credit card purchases on fake websites

Another common scam in the virtual environment occurs when purchases are made on fake websites. The user believes he is shopping on a secure site, records all credit card details that are later stolen by criminals and used in other transactions. Usually this fraud occurs on sites that sell products with a price well below the market to attract victims, or through suspicious links sent via messaging apps or email.

To avoid it, it is important not to click on links sent by these channels and always check the address of the page in the browser, if there are any typos or if the padlock that is next to the address bar is missing and ensures that the site is safe. .