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Sainsbury's Bank

Card not present fraud

Card not present (CNP) fraud is the most common form of credit card fraud in the UK with a reported £174.5 million being stolen in the first six months of 2014 alone. But what is CNP fraud and what precautions can you take to make sure you’re not targeted by fraudsters?

What is a card not present transaction?

As the name suggests, a card not present transaction is any transaction made where the cardholder is not there in person. This could mean payments made online, over the telephone or via mail order. CNP fraud is when someone else uses a card (or card details) to make such transactions without the cardholder’s authorisation.

How can I protect myself from CNP fraud?

Victims of card fraud in the UK are protected by the Banking Code as long as the fraud was not due to negligence on the cardholder’s part and reasonable care was taken to prevent it. Therefore, it’s important to take precautions to avoid falling victim to CNP fraud. These could include:

  • Checking your transaction history regularly.
  • Minimising the number of non-chip and pin payments you make.
  • Disposing carefully of anything containing your credit card details.
  • Being aware of phishing emails which try to trick you into disclosing your card details. You can learn more about phishing with our handy guide.
  • Keeping a close eye on your statements and reporting any suspected fraudulent activity immediately.
  • Reporting any lost or stolen cards as soon as possible.
  • Avoiding entering your card details into websites on shared or public computers, or over public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Remembering to logout of any websites where you’ve entered your card details rather than simply shutting down the browser.
  • Only entering your card details on secure sites (i.e. those where the web address features the ‘https’ prefix and have a padlock in the browser window).
  • Only make telephone transactions where you have instigated the call. Do not provide your card details to "cold callers".

What do I do if I have been targeted by fraudsters?

If you spot any suspicious transactions on your credit card statement, there are a number of steps you can take to hopefully rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

  • As soon as you suspect your card could be used fraudulently, contact your card provider.
  • Depending on the situation, you might want to report the fraud to the police. Make sure to keep a record of any correspondence.
  • If your card has been used fraudulently before you have the chance to inform your provider, you may be liable for the first £50. However, as long as the fraud did not occur due to your own negligence, you should be refunded fully.

For a more thorough look at using your credit card safely, please see our guide to credit card security.