Protect Yourself Against Card Fraud

August 12, 2020 04:14 PM

Due to the national coin shortage, many of us are using cashless or contactless payment options more often. It’s during high volume times like these that fraudsters strike and wreak havoc on consumer accounts. It’s important to stay vigilant about account security with a continuous review of card activity to prevent financial losses.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your cards safe:

Understand the difference between card-present fraud and card-not-present fraud.

Card-present fraud is a type of credit card scam in which the card is physically present during the fraudulent transaction. Often calling skimming, fraudsters use a device called a skimmer that can be installed at gas pumps or payment terminal to collect card data.


Card-present fraud can occur when credit card information is keyed in manually because the magnetic stripe is not readable, and an unreadable magnetic stripe is sometimes a sign of a counterfeit card.


The more popular scam, card-not-present fraud, occurs without the use of the physical card – mainly online or over the phone. In most cases, this type of fraud happens after a crook steals card information such as a card number with hacking or phishing. That stolen card data then enables a fraudster to carry out unauthorized transactions even if the legitimate card is never lost or stolen. Card-not-present fraud is the biggest contributor to overall credit and debit card fraud.

Take measures to avoid these frauds.
Here are some actions you can take to prevent fraud on your cards:

  • Do not share usernames and passwords.
  • Use only internet browsers that securely transmit data. You can check this by looking at the URL - the web address should begin with https:// and have a closed-padlock symbol in the browser.
  • Thoroughly review your monthly statements.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited email requests for personal account information, even if the source of the request looks trustworthy.
  • Do not send payment information through email.

Know what to do if you have been a victim of fraud.

If you’d like to take a more real-time, proactive role in keeping tabs on your credit, enroll in a credit monitoring system. As you may know, federal law entitles you to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. There are also services available for you to subscribe to that range in depth and cost – even free! They can help you detect certain kinds of fraudulent use of your personal information more quickly than you might otherwise.


Please don’t hesitate to contact your local Horizon Bank or call us at 888-873-2640 if in doubt about any activity on your account. Horizon offers a debit card fraud detection program called EnFact which sends you a text message if a charge on your account seems suspicious. After you enroill, Enfact’s 24/7 text alerts provide an extra layer of account security, so you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered. Learn more here.