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Against credit card hacking

The quantity of credit cards in circulation has increased exponentially, attracting the attention of criminal groups
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
22/01/2018
08:50
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Credit cards were invented so people could purchase expensive products easier and in so doing, they became a door to widen the financial culture of Mexico. For those who aren't familiar with banking institutions, credit cards are always the first step towards more credit.

However, the quantity of credit cards in circulation has increased exponentially, as there are currently over 27 million in the country. And this has become an attractive prospect for criminal groups.

EL UNIVERSAL publishes today evidence that shows the way in which frauds and credit card hacking have increased.

From January to November 2017 there were a total of 2.5 billion credit card hacking claims – more than double of the claims received during 2016 for the same time period, when a total of 1.3 billion claims were filed.

Yet many of these cases couldn't have been carried out without the involvement of bank employees. In two of the stories published today by this newspaper, there are, at the very least, signs confirming the above. In one of the cases, charges were made over the credit line established by the bank itself. In the other, the victim claims that upon receiving the replacement of his card, his credit balance of MXN$5,000 (roughly USD$268,633) was suddenly gone from his account.

And upon filing a claim, according to the victims, the banking institutions made them feel as if they had been the thieves or somehow responsible for the crime.

These type of crimes cause frictions between banking institutions and clients because, in several occasions, it's the clients, in their ignorance, who enter their information on a link they received by –a false – email (phishing).

While it is true that in Mexico bank service accessibility is lower than the average of other Latin American countries, encouraging people to obtain a credit and other banking services has to go hand in hand with the education of said new clients, especially those who are farther removed from the digital world – like inhabitants of remote locations or senior citizens, as most of them receive their pensions or social support in the form of a savings account.

Clients aren't only vulnerable out there in the streets but also in the virtual world, which is why banking institutions should devise more rigorous controls for their processes and their personnel, without forgetting they have to include clients to fight credit card hacking.

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