CCAP: Credit card fraud cases rise as AI tools gain popularity

AS more Filipinos shift to digital payments, fraudulent credit card activities have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said on Tuesday that fraud cases in remote and other digital payment channels involving credit cards have “significantly increased” in the Philippines.

“With the increasing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and platforms, scammers are finding ways to create smarter, more genuine-looking spam emails, SMS, and other means to deceive credit cardholders,” CCAP Executive Director Alex Ilagan said in a statement.

CCAP said some of the commonly used tactics by credit card fraudsters are sending legitimate-looking emails (phishing) or text messages (smishing) as well as making a call (voice phishing or vishing for short) to defraud people and entice them to divulge sensitive personal information and credit card details.

Since the messages are often worded strongly and urgently, this would make the recipient panic and act immediately, CCAP added.

The association reminded credit cardholders to look out for an SMS, email or voice call from a prepaid or unknown mobile number.

“A more important safety tip is to never reveal credit card information—especially card verification value (CVV) and one-time password (OTP)—over email, SMS, and even calls. If one is unsure of the legitimacy of an email or text message they received, they may call their card issuer for confirmation.”

Scammers could also lure credit cardholders through SMS spoofing by making them believe the text message came from a legitimate company. SMS spoofing also sends a link, leading to a fake website where credit card details and OTP are collected like smishing.

“Do not click on unfamiliar links sent via SMS, even if the sender ID looks legitimate,” CCAP said, adding that card issuers would never ask for card details and OTPs through SMS text links.

CCAP said replying to these messages would let the fraudster know the mobile number is active, making it a bigger target for more scams. However, if the scammer gets hold of the cardholder’s card details, they will perform an account takeover to use the credit card for transactions.

It said scammers would contact the issuing bank and use the cardholder’s personal information to access and change the PIN, mailing address, password, mobile number and other crucial details.

To avoid account takeover, CCAP urged the public not to post one’s personal information on social media as scammers can obtain the details online.

Apart from making passwords hard to guess, consumers must also change it regular and use different passwords across platforms.

Cardholders must keep an eye on their transactions and track notifications about any changes made to their account, CCAP added.

“If one receives notifications or OTPs for transactions they did not perform, the best course of action is to call the bank immediately,” CCAP said.

Ilagan said that as scammers think of “new and smarter methods of tricking people,” credit cardholders should be more vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their credit card information.

“Combating financial crime is a shared responsibility so we need everyone’s cooperation in our continuous fight against these progressive fraudsters.”

CCAP: Credit card fraud cases rise as AI tools gain popularity | Reine Juvierre S. Alberto (


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