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Before the holidays, a new Visa report warns consumers about an increase in fraud.

Kampala, Leading global provider of digital payments, Visa Inc., released its Holiday Edition Threats Report, predicting an increase in card-present (CP) and card-not-present (CNP) fraud during the holiday season.

Due to the sharp rise in eCommerce activity and in-person retail and hospitality spending, the new analysis outlines common fraud strategies predicted between November 2023 and January 2024.

Visa also released a list of the top ten practices that customers may adopt to purchase safely and securely.

Transaction history and historical data demonstrate that threat actors take advantage of customers around the holidays.

According to Visa’s statistics, fraudsters’ preferred merchant categories witnessed a rise in holiday fraud rates in 2022 of 11% over their non-holiday fraud rate, as well as an 8% increase over the previous year during this same period.

The Threats Report for the Holiday Season cautions that malicious actors may try to take advantage of consumers’ heightened curiosity and haste to locate sales and unique gifts. The following are some of the report’s highlights:

• Phishing and social engineering: In the past year, artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced to the point that threat actors can now construct highly personalized phishing campaigns, which make it more difficult for customers to identify fakes.

Fraudsters also produce phishing websites, frequently luring victims with illegal search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and fraudulent advertising on shopping or service websites.

• OTP Fraud and Bypassing Provisions: Visa was recognised To access cardholders’ accounts, numerous one-time-passcode (OTP) bypass strategies exist. Under this technique, users who seem to be related with a desired purchase receive OTP templates.

• Physical Theft: In busy retail establishments, shopping centers, or parking lots, threat actors may try to take credit cards, phones, or other valuables from unwary customers.

According to Paul Fabara, Chief Risk Officer of Visa, “crooks prepare all year for the holiday shopping season, taking advantage of increased activity and consumers who let their guard down seeking for the ideal gift.” “At Visa, we guarantee round-the-clock threat monitoring, even during the busiest season of the year, as part of our commitment to security and dependability. This holiday season, customers can relax knowing that Visa’s team of specialists is working nonstop to halt fraud in its tracks.

Ten Routines to Aid Customers in Safe Shopping

Customers who intend to purchase this holiday season should learn safe habits from Visa’s 10 Habits for Good Security Hygiene. Important points to note from Visa’s advice are:

• Purchase from Reputable Retailers: Remain loyal to reputable and well-known merchants. If you’re thinking about buying something from a store you haven’t heard of before, find out more about them to ensure their legitimacy.

• Protect Your Personal Data: Verify if the website is using secure technology. The website address should begin with “https://” while completing the checkout process. Your data is being encrypted and transmitted over a secure connection, as shown by the letter “s,” which stands for secure.

• Verify the purpose of the OTP (e.g., is it for a purchase or issuance of a device token) and examine the purchase information (e.g., merchant name, transaction amount) before entering the OTP. Lastly, you should avoid sharing your OTPs by message, email, or the phone.

• Steer clear of public Wi-Fi when shopping because it’s simpler for hackers to obtain your information because these networks are frequently unprotected. When making purchases, always connect to the internet using a private, secure connection.

• Steer Clear of Offers That Seem Too Good to Be True: A lot of the time, deals on websites and in unsolicited emails seem too good to be true, especially when they include deeply discounted pricing on difficult-to-find items. These discounts are typically questionable, so consumers should be wary of them.

Reliability and security are Visa’s primary priorities all year long. The corporation has spent over $10 billion on technology over the last five years, with the goal of lowering fraud and boosting network security.

Over a thousand committed experts guard Visa’s network around-the-clock, 365 days a year from malware, zero-day attacks, and insider threats. In reality, Visa assisted in proactively stopping $30 billion in fraudulent transactions in the first half of 2023, keeping many people from even realizing they were at risk of a fraudulent transaction.

We advise customers to be cautious during this shopping season and consider where they are buying and with whom they are sharing personal information in order to protect it.

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