Card fraud surges in Ukraine

The National Bank told about the most popular ways to cheat Ukrainians with bank cards
The National Bank told about the most popular ways to cheat Ukrainians with bank cards

Credit and debit card fraud is on the rise in Ukraine, with the number of fraudulent card transactions surging by a quarter in 2023, reaching 272,000 operations, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) reported on April 2.

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Payment service providers, sellers, and clients sustained nearly UAH 833 million ($21 million) in losses due to illegitimate card payments in 2023, marking a 73% increase from the previous year, according to the NBU.

The average amount of a single illegal transaction in 2023 was UAH 3,065 ($78), which is 39% higher than in 2022.

Additionally, the number of active credit and debit cards increased by 13% in 2023, indicating a higher usage of payment cards for transactions, the report adds.

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Card fraud most often occurred online, accounting for 83% of all cases. Meanwhile, only 17% involved physical devices (ATMs and self-checkout machines).

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The vast majority of cases were enabled through social engineering: 80% of fraudulent payments (compared to 53% in 2022) were made possible after clients were tricked into disclosing their personal information, allowing the fraudsters to seize control of their bank cards.

"Taking advantage of the war and the challenging situation of many Ukrainians, fraudsters skillfully adapt and manipulate peoples' emotions when they are most vulnerable, finding new schemes for deception," said the NBU.

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