Card fraud basically involves theft of identity or information on your cards.

The stealing can take place in one of the following ways:

1. Skimming

“This involves attaching a data skimming device in the card reader slot to copy information from the magnetic strip when one swipes the card,“ says Mohan Jayaraman, MD, Experian India.

“They also set up cameras near the machine to get the PIN,“ he adds

2. Card trapping

This is a barb that retains the card when you insert it in the machine and the card is retrieved later.

3. Shoulder surfing

If you find friendly bystanders in the room or outside who try to help you if your card gets stuck or peer over your shoulder, beware.

They are there to get you to reveal your PIN.

4. Leaving card PIN

If you write your PIN on the card and forget it in the ATM kiosk, it’s a virtual invite to be scammed.

5. Online transactions

The ease of e-shopping or online bill payment is matched by the felicity with which identity theft can be carried out on computer or smartphone.

Mumbai-based Girish Peswani knows it well. “I was in my office when I got alerts about online transactions abroad made using my credit card,“ he says. There are various ways this card information could have been stolen.

6. Pharming

In this technique, fraudsters reroute you to a fake website that seems similar to the original.

So even as you conduct transactions and make payment via credit or debit card, the card details can be stolen.

7. Keystroke logging

Here, you unintentionally download a software, which allows the fraudster to trace your key strokes and steal passwords or credit card and Net banking details.

8. Public Wi-Fi

If you are used to carrying out transactions on your smartphone, public Wi-Fi makes for a good hacking opportunity for thieves to steal your card details.

9. Malware

This is a malicious software that can damage computer systems at ATMs or bank servers and allows fraudsters to access confidential card data.

10. Merchant or point-of-sale theft

This is perhaps the most effective form of stealth, wherein your card is taken by the salesperson for swiping and the information from the magnetic strip is copied to be illegally used later.

11. Phishing & vishing

While phishing involves identity theft through spam mails which seem to be from a genuine source, vishing is essentially the same through a mobile phone using messages or SMS. These trick you into revealing your password, PIN or account number.

12. SIM swipe fraud

Here the fraudster contacts your mobile operator with fake identity proof and gets a duplicate SIM card.

The operator deactivates your original SIM and the thief generates one-time password (OTP) on the phone to conduct online transactions.

13. Unsafe apps

Mobile apps other than those from established stores can gain access to information on your phone and use it for unauthorised transactions.

14. Lost or stolen cards, interception

Transactions are carried out using stolen cards, those intercepted from mail before they reach the owner from the issuer, or by fishing out information like PINs and passwords from trash bins.

15. Cards using other documents

New cards are made by fraudsters using personal information stolen from application forms, lost or discarded documents.