Apr. 29th, 2021

COVID-19 Credit Card Safety Tips Part 2

By: Kristen Spence, MSA, CFE – Hungerford Nichols Fraud & Litigation Team Manager

Cyber Security is a challenging area that merits continued attention. We saw a significant increase in cyber fraud, real-time payment fraud, and other monetary fraud schemes as a result of COVID-19 impacting economies world-wide in 2020. Frauds surrounding the digital exchange of funds are projected to continue to grow. Below are a few tips to help you stay safe and navigate the waters during these ever-changing times.                                                                                           

Shopping Online: Tips to keeping you safe                                                                                                                                                  

Double check all websites you are on before entering a credit or debit card number or any personal information.

Be aware of differences in url’s, especially in banking, student loan, medical, and tax websites.

Simple changes in url’s such as a space, dash, underscore, capitalization, or one missing letter likely indicates a fraudulent website.

If something doesn’t seem right with your login process, STOP and contact the organization you are trying to reach to verify any login process changes by way of a known email or telephone number.  Often, a Financial Institution will have a phone number listed on the back of their issued credit card.                                                                                                                                    

Types of Protective Credit Cards                                                                                                                                                     

EMV Chip Credit Cards          

  • Offer great security and protection for you and your financial institution during a card-present or in-person transaction.              

Contactless Credit Cards – Near-Field Communication (NFC)                              

  • Currently one of the safest ways to shop with a credit card for card-present or in-person transaction.
  • Provides no-contact transactions.
  • At this point, fraudsters haven’t widely perfected and put in place hacking methods for this form of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tokenization use, known as Near-Field Communication (NFC).

Virtual Account Numbers (VAN’s) and Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2)  

  • Some Financial Institutions are now offering consumers the option for enhanced online fraud protection by use of randomly generated credit card information for making online purchases.
  • Contact your Financial Institution to learn more about opportunities you may have to enhance your online purchasing security with use of Virtual Credit Card Numbers (VAN’s) or Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) random code generation technology.

Tokenization: The Way of the Future?

  • Future consumer anti-fraud purchasing methods appear to be progressing towards an increased use of tokenization.
  • Look for announcements from your financial institutions in the coming years for additional information on their capabilities to protect your accounts with the use of tokenization.

Implementing a few easy steps as you financially move throughout your day could help prevent fraudsters from reaching your accounts, your identity, and having an impact on your financial future.


Contact our team at Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors if you have questions.

email: kspence@hungerfordnichols.com
Phone: (616) 949-3200
Website: www.HungerfordNichols.com