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Visa warns of card draining scam ahead of Christmas

New Visa report warns consumers of increased card scam activity ahead of this christmas holiday.

Visa has released its latest Holiday Edition Threats Report, which anticipates heightened scam activity during the holiday season across both card-present (CP) and card-not-present (CNP) transactions.

The 2023 Christmas Holiday edition anticipates threat actors will use advanced schemes to exploit consumers’ information during the holiday season. 

It also shares tips and tricks for safe transactions.

The report red marks the period between the months of November 2023 and January 2024 as most anticipated to experience fraud, due to the rapid increase in Ecommerce activities and in-person spending across retail and hospitality.

Phishing and Social Engineering, OTP Bypass and Provisioning Fraud and Physical Theft were among the exploit schemes highlighted by the report’s findings:

  • Phishing and Social Engineering: The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) overthe past year provides threat actors with the ability to create highly customized phishingcampaigns, making it harder for consumers to spot fakes. Fraudsters also createphishing websites, often using malvertising (malicious advertising) and other illicit searchengine optimization (SEO) tactics on retail or service websites to entice victims.
  • OTP Bypass and Provisioning Fraud: Visa identified many one-time-passcode (OTP)bypass schemes to gain access to cardholders’ accounts. In this scheme, OTPtemplates are sent to the consumers that appear to be associated with desired purchase.
  • Physical Theft: Threat actors may attempt to physically steal payment cards and/orphones from unsuspecting consumers in crowded retail stores, shopping malls, orparking lots.

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The report further warns that threat actors will seek to exploit consumers’ increased interest and urgency in finding deals and one-of-a-kind gifts. 

Paul Fabara, Chief Risk Officer, at Visa Said; “Crooks prepare all year for the holiday shopping season, taking advantage of increased activity and consumers who let their guard down searching for the perfect gift.”

According to the report, 2022 christmas holiday fraud rates increased 11% over their non-holiday fraud rate, an increase of 8% over the previous year during this time. 

This projects an upward trajectory for the 2023 holiday season.

In reassurance of 24/7 threat monitoring, Paul added, “Consumers can rest easy this holiday season knowing Visa’s team of experts is working around the clock to stop fraud it its tracks.”

In addition, Visa also unveiled its list of top 10 habits consumers can follow to practice safe and secure shopping.

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