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Credit/debit cards


Phishing is a cyber crime where criminals contact people by email, telephone or text message, pretending to be a legitimate organisation. They try to get people to provide personal information such as bank details and passwords, and often include links that once clicked, download a virus to your computer and steal personal information. The information is then used to access accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Be aware of suspicious messages and emails and do not click on links or attachments in them. Never respond to unsolicited messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

If you do receive a suspicious email, this can be reported to National Cyber Security Centre via their Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) Any suspected frauds committed by email can be send to Action Fraud. See Q680 and Q749 for further information regarding fraud and see the links in Related Information to report any suspicious or fraudulent emails.


The first and most important step to take is to contact your bank/credit card company and advise them of the transactions.
The bank/credit card company will investigate the matter and where appropriate inform the police.
If your card has been lost or stolen then you need to report this to the police who will record the crime or loss.


Skimming or cloning cards is when the details of your card from the magnetic strip are put onto a blank card and then the card is used without your knowledge or permission.

Always guard your card like you would with cash. Most larger stores and businesses now do not display the whole of your card number on the receipt making it harder to clone your credit card. Do not let the card out of your sight during a transaction. Some unscrupulous business will clone your card and use it before you even know about it.

When discarding your receipts make sure you shred them. Do not disclose your PIN number to anyone, even if they say they are from the bank, police or reputable business. No one but you needs to know your PIN.


It is very important that you report the matter to the bank as soon as possible, as the card needs to be cancelled, so that it cannot be used. Once lost or stolen, if your card is used without your knowledge, you may incur a charge, which can vary from bank to bank. However, if you were negligent then it may be that you will be responsible for any losses.
Many banks and credit card companies offer Credit Card Protection schemes, which for a relatively low fee you only need to report the loss to one company and they will notify all other credit card companies and banks on your behalf. For further information on this, please contact your bank directly.

Contact your local police force

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