Credit card abuse and credit card fraud – what to do?

The legal basis for the use of credit cards are the general terms and conditions of the respective credit card company. With the signature under the credit card contract, the customer confirms that he will handle the card with care and will adhere to certain procedures if lost. Read more at

Procedure in the event of card loss

The first thing to report is the loss. Originally, every company still had its own number, but today the loss report can be made by telephone using a central telephone number.

If the credit card is lost or stolen, call the blocking hotline immediately and have the card blocked. Immediate notification is necessary because the credit card holder is obliged to make its contribution to limiting the damage. When calling from abroad, all you have to do is the dial code area for Germany. The emergency hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If the card is stolen, it must be reported to the police.


credit cards

Limitation of damage also means that, for example, the PIN must not be noted on the card or in the wallet together with the card. This is considered gross negligence. Who acts grossly negligent or willfully, is liable according to ยง 675v BGB for credit card misuse for the entire damage. Otherwise, the liability of the cardholder is limited to a maximum of 50 dollars, depending on the issuer of the credit card.

Types of credit card fraud

credit card fraud

Despite careful handling of the credit card and the associated data, fraudsters always find ways to gain access to credit card accounts. Your approaches are different.

Card theft

If your wallet, which contains your credit card, has been stolen, thieves can use the card for transactions. Because on some credit card terminals it is still possible to authorize payment by card with your signature. However, more and more terminals are being switched to PIN request – another reason not to keep the PIN together with the card.


Here, the fraudsters sneak into the credit card data using manipulated readers. If you enter your PIN to pay or withdraw money, this can also be read out. Therefore, always check your credit card statement carefully for unusual debits.


Emails are used by scammers to get credit card holders to enter their details on a counterfeit, but deceptively real-looking website. Please read the e-mail very carefully: General greetings such as “Dear customer”, for example, are suspicious – your credit card provider should know your name. Do not open suspicious attachments, do not provide your data in case of doubt and contact your bank.

Fake online stores

Fraudsters can run fake online shops to collect credit card information. Unrealistically low prices are an indication of possible credit card fraud. A trustworthy shop is characterized by a secure hypertext transmission protocol, which you can recognize by the “https” in the address bar. Many certified retailers also carry the “Trusted Shops” seal.

Copy the card

If you pay by credit card, you should be sure that misuse by copying the card is not possible. In restaurants in particular, it is common for the reader to be behind the counter or in a separate room. Insist that you are present during the payment process. Fortunately, mobile transaction devices, which enable payment at the table, are becoming increasingly popular. If this is not the case, accompany the service staff to the credit card terminal.

Shop securely online with your credit card

Shop securely credit card

To protect consumers from credit card fraud when making online payments, the two major credit card companies VISA and Mastercard offer the 3D Secure security mechanism, which makes abuse more difficult. However, consumers should also pay attention to encrypted SSL lines when shopping online.

If you do not want to do without the advantages of online credit card shopping, but are afraid of credit card fraud and data theft despite the highest security standards, you should use a prepaid credit card for shopping. Here the disposition is limited to the available credit.

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