Protection From Fraud & Identity Theft

How fraudsters use your card details

Fraudsters have got all sorts of creative ways to steal your card details.

They can try and get their hands on your card details remotely by using phone and email scams – some of which are extremely sophisticated and convincing. This is why we’re always monitoring your account for suspicious transactions.

Once the scammers have got your information, they get to work – making purchases on the internet, over the phone or by mail order – without your card being present.

Have I been scammed?

Noticed a transaction on your Barclaycard account you didn’t make? Unexplained payments on your statement could be credit card fraud.

Think back. Have you had a call or an email asking you for information and you thought it was from your bank, the police or a genuine company? You’re not alone. Card scams are big business and account for more than half of all card fraud.

Give me some examples


Nina: HMRC email scam

Nina received an email from HMRC, which she thought was genuine. It said she was due a tax rebate, with a link to ‘Start Claim’. The email used HMRC’s corporate colours and logo, and the email address looked authentic, so Nina clicked on the link and filled out her personal details. A week later, she noticed transactions she hadn’t made on her credit card and discovered the email was a scam.


Catherine: bank phone scam

Catherine had a call from someone claiming to be from her credit card company. She was told they suspected fraud on her account, and needed her to confirm her bank details. To make the call seem genuine, the scammer asked her to phone them back. Catherine didn’t realise the fraudster hadn’t hung up, so the line remained open. When she dialled their number, the scammer was still on the line and pretended to be a call centre agent. Catherine confirmed her details, thinking it was her credit card company.

Follow these three top tips to protect yourself against this type of fraud:

  1. Never reveal your account details, PIN or passwords over the phone, whoever someone claims to be – Barclaycard, the police and other official companies will never call you and ask you for this info
  2. If you get a call from your bank or the police, check who they are by calling your bank on the number on the back of your card, or the police on 101. Use a different phone line such as your mobile, or wait a minute for the phone line to cut off. Find out how to check it’s us calling you .
  3. However genuine an email looks, be wary of clicking links – Barclaycard and other official companies will never ask you to confirm your account details, PIN or passwords
 


How fraudsters use your personal information

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when a fraudster steals your personal details and uses it for everything from opening a bank account, to applying for credit in your name.

So how do fraudsters get their hands on your information? Some go through your rubbish to find your personal details on bank statements and bills. Others trawl the internet, gathering pieces of your identity from websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

As well as being stressful and time-consuming to sort out, identity theft can mean you face problems getting credit and with debt collectors. Plus, it can be difficult to find out how the theft happened. Many people never discover how their details were stolen.

Have I been scammed?

Getting bills, statements or letters sent to your home for accounts, goods or services you’ve not ordered could be a sign of identity theft. Likewise, if you’ve signed up to a credit reference agency and you’ve spotted new accounts you haven’t opened.

Or maybe you’ve noticed transactions you haven’t made or documents going missing, such as your driving licence or utility bills.

These are all signs you could have had your identity stolen.

Give me some examples


Kate: credit card accounts in her name

Kate started to receive statements from a credit card company she didn’t have an account with. The account was in her name, registered to her address, and had an outstanding balance of £700. Kate ignored the first statement, thinking it had been sent by accident. However, following another letter chasing payment for unpaid bills, she contacted the credit card company. The issue was passed on to their fraud team and no further action was taken against her.


Rick: card and loan applications in his name

Rick had an email from a bank saying his credit card application had been approved, but he hadn’t applied for one. He contacted the bank and the application was cancelled. The fraudster wasn’t deterred, however, and applied for other loans and credit cards in Rick’s name. This was time consuming for him, as he had to contact the companies every time it happened. Worried about his credit score, he joined a credit reference agency and they attached a note to explain his identity had been stolen.

Follow these three top tips to protect yourself against this type of fraud:

  1. Shred all your bills and statements before you throw them away
  2. Always check your statements for transactions you haven’t made
  3. Sign up to a credit reference agency like Experian  or Equifax so you can keep a regular check on your credit report

CIFAS (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service)
ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office)
Identity Theft Org
Get Safe Online
Experian

Top tips for staying secure

  • Keep your information up to date in case we need to contact you
  • Never write down or tell anyone your PIN
  • Make sure your PIN isn’t something obvious like your date of birth as fraudsters can easily find this information 
  • If a cash machine looks like it’s been tampered with, don’t use it
  • Always be vigilant when you’re using a cash machine – look over your shoulder and don’t get distracted
  • Destroy old cards by cutting up the chip and magnetic strip
  • Keep your receipts and shred them before you bin them
  • Always close any unused accounts, especially those registered to old addresses

Get up to speed on website security

For free, independent advice on using the web securely, you can visit the Get Safe Online website.

Learn more about fraud and identity theft

You’ll find helpful tips and advice on how to protect yourself against credit card fraud and identity theft at Financial Fraud Action UK and Action Fraud .

Guard your personal details

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, the risk of having your identity stolen could be higher. You can add an extra layer of protection by signing up to Cifas (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System). This not-for-profit company work to protect businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals from financial crime. When you apply and pay for Protective Registration, they place a warning flag against your name. This prompts Cifas members to carry out extra checks to prove your identity and stop further fraud. Find out about Cifas Protect Registration for Individuals and how to apply.