KFH: Smartphones, internet and social media are high risk means of fraud on bank cards

Talal Al-Arbeed

KUWAIT: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is continuing its awareness messages to customers and employees as part of “Be Aware” campaign, thus warning against the risks of falling in the traps of fraudulence and the hacking of all types of credit cards which have increased recently. No information about bank accounts or bank cards should be disclosed to any unknown parties, suspicious people, or fake websites. Immediate contact must be made with the bank or regulatory authorities to report any fraudulence case or hacking of credit cards or information.

Group Acting DGM – Banking Cards, Talal Al-Arbeed said that demand on e-payment transactions is expected to increase considering the increase in new money transfer systems and robust e-trading worldwide. The tremendous increase in the numbers of e-payment systems users has tempted cyber criminals to commit fraudulence crimes after obtaining the bank card number and the secret number (CVV) which consists of three digits at the back of the card. Purchase transactions through credit cards are very simple as they comprise two steps: authorization and payment.

Al-Arbeed added that although a major part of fraudulence transactions on credit cards, ATM and internet can be avoided yet hackers will always attempt to invent new tricks to keep up with the latest developments e.g., promoting financial prizes which require the disclosure of banking card details or transfer of funds to the customer for unrealistic reasons by unknown parties

Types of cards
Regarding the types of banking cards, Al-Arbeed said that there are several types of cards. However, the most common types are three cards, credit cards, ATM and prepaid cards.

Types of fraudulence
He said that fraudulence is divided into two main types, the first and most common on internet represents the stealing of the card details during transactions which require usage of the card. The fraud steals the card details and use them illegally without having to use the card itself. Second type is represented in stealing the information from the card itself. This method has become less common. It appears in shops when the dishonest seller passes the card on an information storage machine and uses this information later for making purchases.

Mobile fraudulence
He indicated that fraudulence through the phone is one of the main channels to steal funds from the cards. Criminals are disguised as bank employees, police, or others. They convince their victims that there are threats on their accounts so that they discover secret information and steal funds. Frauds use the trick of pressing the key or one of the digits in preparation for other pre-planned steps in accordance with very tight methods that enable the hacker to complete the hacking process.

He warned all users to take precaution against any calls from strangers, not to disclose any information about the account or the card, to end the call immediately and not to discuss any details of any type. He emphasized that no card No. or ID No. should be given to any person and no transaction should be conducted over the phone unless the customer is the one who initiates the call and knows the company very well.

Social media applications
He stated that the increase social media applications and the increased dependence thereon in purchases, cross border shopping and transaction processing, was accompanied by different types of fraudulence. He indicated that in cases of online shopping through personal computers, no access information, passwords, or any other information should be saved. He warned against the links attached to e-mail messages which ask the user to enter his personal data. Do not click on them at all even it appears that the bank is the sender. The customer must know the party he is dealing with.

He added “before you purchase anything online from an unknown seller, search online for the seller information through search browsers. Also check consumers’ comments and opinions. When you pay online make sure that the webpage address starts with //:https , examine the page carefully and minimize as much as possible the amount of personal information on social media websites. Do not share password with anybody and check and update privacy and security settings continuously.

Online fraud
Alarbeed asked all banking cards users to deal with their cards exactly as they deal with their cash funds especially online. Do not transfer or accept in your accounts any funds sent by unknown parties. Be aware of the attractive offers when doing online shopping. Keep your mobile and computer devices secured always. Avoid using public computers or WiFi to conduct banking transactions.

General warnings to travelers
Al-Arbeed said that, upon traveling, the person must carry the cards which he needs only and to be always alert when using the card. He should not conduct any transaction through the phone. He must ensure to know all emergency phone numbers of his bank and must immediately report the incident if the card is stolen or lost.

In general, it should always be ensured, when updating the information, to contact the bank and verify the details of account statements on regular basis and not to ignore any alerts from the bank. He should report the incident to the police in case card is stolen or lost.

Credit cards parties
Al-Arbeed mentioned that the customer should know the parties in the funds transfer transaction when using credit cards. There are 5 parties: The bank issuing the card – The customer using the card – The merchant – The global organization carrying the card trademark – The merchant’s bank receiving the sale documents and follows up the member banks settlement of the amounts due on the card.


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