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Card payment scams : A handy guide to help stay safe

Shield your finances: A guide to preventing card payment scams.

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Harnessing a wealth of security strategies, Fintechs and Banks employ several safeguarding measures to protect your hard-earned money. But, as one might expect, fraudsters continually strive to discover ways to exploit these protections.

In this article, let's delve into the tactics employed by these criminals to attempt to manipulate you into authorising card transactions inside the Tap app. these aren't transactions that originate from your usual activity. Instead, they are crafty attempts at transactions initiated by nefarious individuals looking to exploit your finances.

Stolen card schemes

The initial phase of this deception involves a criminal acquiring credit or debit card details. Such information could either be procured during genuine organization's data breaches or through responding to deceitful texts or emails, which is widely known as phishing or smishing. These messages often pose as credible businesses. In certain cases, they could even resort to physically stealing your card.

There are some preventive measures you can take to safeguard your personal and financial data:

1. Cultivate a healthy skepticism when it comes to text messages or emails containing links, especially those urging for payment details or requesting account login.

2. Instead of immediately clicking on links in messages that appear to be from “reputable companies”, consider an alternative method. Use Google to search for them independently (without using the provided link in their message) to ensure their credibility. Conducting your own research can effectively protect you against possible scams.

Safe account fraud schemes

Scammers can get creative to try tricking you out of your money. A common trick is to make you worry about your bank account's safety. They might call you, making it look like it's from a real bank or fintech pretty convincingly — a trick usually known as 'spoofing.'

During such a call, they might ask you to approve a card transfer, suggesting it will move your money to a 'secure place' as protection. To sound convincing, they might even tell you that any payment you can see on your app isn't real and is instead a 'test' of your account's safety.

However, it's crucial to remember that legitimate financial institutions will never prompt you to relocate your finances or process payments to ensure your account's security. Instead, they already have stringent security measures in place to protect your money.

If you receive such a call, take a moment and think. You're better off hanging up and checking things out. Tap support & security team will never call you over the phone. It's always smarter to take a moment to be safe than regret being in a hurry later.

Impersonating refund scams

An additional technique employed to deceive individuals into authorizing a card payment through their app involves fraudulent calls wherein the caller pretends to represent an online store. Picture this: You receive a call with the caller claiming an unauthorized purchase has been made using your card. Naturally, your immediate reaction is denial, because you didn't make that purchase.

But here comes the twist. The tricksters would insist that in order to rectify the error and process your refund, you need to confirm the payment in your app. It sounds counterintuitive, right? That's because it is!

In both instances, the authenticity of these scams lies in the detailed knowledge the fraudster already possesses about your card – they have all the information required to initiate a payment (refer to the previous section named 'Stolen card schemes'). The illusion of their credibility sparks a false sense of security, leading you to authorize the payment. Unfortunately, when you authorize the payment within the application, you're effectively granting permission for the funds to be debited from your account.

How criminal try to bypass security measures

Criminals continually seek ways to evade security measures, particularly those designed to protect online financial transactions. One such protective measure is 3DSecure, deployed to fortify the safety of your online card transactions.

3DSecure functions by prompting the cardholder to authenticate certain transactions using their Tap application. This verification process ensures that the individual carrying out the payment is indeed the card's legitimate owner and not an unauthorized party.

Intriguingly, scammers have constructed a strategy to bypass this safeguard. Their preferred method is a telephonic approach, attempting to manipulate unsuspecting individuals into authorizing transactions on their behalf.

This reveals the ingenuity and persistence of these criminals in devising strategies to navigate such complex safeguards. Maintaining constant vigilance is paramount to counter these nefarious actors, alongside a commitment to education and awareness about their evolving tactics. Knowledge is indeed your best defense.

What steps can I take to safeguard myself?

When finance meets technology, the world is your oyster - until you encounter a scam. Spotting a scam is your first line of defence. If a random individual approaches you, pressuring you to approve a card payment through your app, hug your inner skeptic. This rings alarm bells for a scam. Should you find yourself in such a pickle, don’t hesitate - hang up, firmly dismiss it, and message the Tap support team to report the incident.

Fortifying your financial fortress is a a easier task than before, thanks to the accessibility of financial apps. The Tap app puts the power of financial security in your hands - literally! Located under the 'Cards' tab, you'll find a freeze card toggle. A quick press of this nifty control will lock your card, thus preventing unauthorised transactions.

Just like you wouldn't let a stranger inside your home, it's wise not to accept card payments that you never asked for. This could leave you susceptible to scams, meaning your hard-earned money risks vanishing into thin air.

Despite best efforts, if you find yourself entangled in a fraudulent scenario - don’t despair. Whatever the hour, our customer service team is there for you. Contact them through the Tap app live chat or via email immediately. Finally, pay a visit to our security section of our blog, where you will finds tips to be armed with extra tips for dodging scams as you proceed on your personal finance journey. Remember, stay savvy, stay safe, and keep nurturing your financial know-how.


This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice or a recommendation of any kind whatsoever and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this article (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content), or any content of any other material referred to or accessed by hyperlinks through this article. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.


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