Hackers and online thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so when it comes to credit card fraud it pays to be vigilant at all times.

Types of credit card fraud to be aware of

Account Theft

Account Theft is when someone steals a victim’s personal details to gain access to their account with the intention of carrying out illegal activities. This is usually carried out using malware, software which is designed to gain unauthorised access to the victim’s computer. Malware usually captures keyboard entries and records the user’s digital activity.


Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails and texts or even making phone calls with the intention of capturing a user’s credit card details and other personal information such as passwords.


Skimming is when someone attempts to capture a victim’s credit card details and other personal information by scanning their credit card and storing the information contained in a magnetic strip. It is possible for Skimming to happen during a legitimate business transaction.

Application Fraud

Application fraud is when a new credit card application is submitted with fraudulent details passed to a credit provider. Application fraud has become more common with the growth of the internet.

Virtual cloning

Virtual cloning is when someone tests the data and personal information from a stolen credit card to find out whether the details are valid. Once the transaction is processed the criminal will then use the details to make higher value fraudulent transactions.

Friendly fraud

Friendly fraud is when a customer uses a credit card to make a purchase, and then disputes the charge with their credit provider once the items have been received. It is usually a means to obtain items for free and can be broken into two categories; deliberate and accidental friendly fraud.

Warning signs for spotting credit card fraud

Being aware of the types of fraud listed above is a good starting point. However, you can be even more vigilant by keeping an eye out for some of the below warning signs.

Different billing and delivery address

While different billing and delivery addresses are not uncommon, fraudsters often see it as a straightforward way to order and receive items before the victim realises their credit card details have been stolen. If you are suspicious, asking for the phone number of both addresses is an effortless way to find out if they’re legitimate.

Non-residential address

Orders to PO boxes, hotels, business addresses and offices are also often legitimate but they are also a common way for fraudsters to conceal who they are. If you are suspicious, take the time to analyse the transactions carefully.

Atypical transactions

Often merchants will miss fraudulent activity because they are too busy with other work. It is essential to take time to analyse all transactions and minimise the opportunity for fraud. Specific things to keep an eye on include:

  • Several transactions in a short time that use credit card details that are similar to each other
  • A large volume of orders delivered to a single address using different credit cards
  • Multiple orders for different delivery addresses coming from the same IP address
  • Unusually large orders with express delivery requested

Other tips for spotting credit card fraud

Keep a record of fraud attempts, chargebacks and any other issues your customers have experienced. Over time you will become aware of trends and certain things to keep an eye out for.

Sharing information about fraud attempts can also help you detect fraud trends and stay more alert.

Being alert and aware of the different types of fraud will ultimately help protect your business, your reputation and not go unnoticed by your customers.

Apply now