Home » Peak expected in online scams during holidays: you should pay attention to this

Peak expected in online scams during holidays: you should pay attention to this

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Theme image — © Jordi Huisman/Hollandse Hoogte

Visa expects an increase in online scams during the holidays. There was also a peak in Europe during the Christmas period last year. The payment company lists the most common fraud techniques and also provides a number of tips.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 2:41 PM

The most well-known fraud is phishing, in which scammers try to obtain the account details of private individuals in order to use them to shop on the internet. Visa expects this phenomenon to continue to increase due to the advancement of artificial intelligence.

Fraud can also be done via an OTP bypass, where the customer unsuspectingly enters the unique code that the bank sends him on a false website. Cybercriminals can then use that code to make fraudulent purchases. “People who regularly shop online also remain quite vigilant. It is best to opt for two-factor authentication,” he said.

Digital skimming is the theft of bank card details: they are intercepted during the payment process without the customer noticing. Skimming also occurs at ATMs, so people should be extra vigilant there too. Finally, physical thefts also increase during the holidays.

“Scammers are taking advantage of the increased activity and consumers being less vigilant when searching for the perfect gift. In this search, people sometimes dare to choose a deal that is too good to be true, or they unknowingly click on an unsafe link,” says Paul Fabara, Chief Risk Officer of Visa.

The company recommends only purchasing from dealers they know. With a new website, it is also best to look for contact details, such as a physical address. Reviews from others about their experience with the website are also useful. It is also best to check whether there is an ‘s’ in the ‘https’ of the website hyperlink: this means that the connection is secure. Using a public WiFi network is also not recommended during the purchase, because those networks are easy to hack.

Visa has invested heavily in security technology in recent years: the company says it proactively blocked $30 billion in fraud in the first half of this year

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