There is a need to find out what kind of suspicious activity you may engage in that can make your bank to freeze your account.
Have you ever received a call from your bank notifying you that your account was frozen because of a fraud investigation? Maybe your card was declined and when you called your bank, they told you the frozen account was due to a credit fraud alert.
One in 10 bank customers in advanced countries has been the victim of credit card fraud, with another seven per cent falling victim to debit or ATM card fraud, according to Statistic Brain. In fact, 40 per cent of all financial frauds can be traced to credit cards. When you add up all credit card frauds across the world, the amount lost is over $ 5.55bn.
Banks work hard to prevent theft by freezing accounts when they detect suspicious behaviour. Sometimes, however, a credit card or debit card fraud alert can be the result of your own perfectly innocent shopping habits. According to www.gobankingrates.com, here are five things you can do that may make your bank to freeze your account:
- Make purchases in a strange place
One of the easiest ways to end up with a frozen bank account is to use your debit or credit card when you’re out of town. A transaction from a location other than where you live can be a red flag to the bank, because card thieves will likely head out of town before using your stolen information to make a purchase.
Of course, there’s always the chance you’re simply travelling, but a freeze can be put in place nonetheless. If your bank doesn’t know your vacation plans, it will err on the side of caution. This is especially true when you’re travelling abroad and making purchases overseas.
- Make a small purchase followed by a large purchase
When thieves steal credit or debit cards, they often test their newfound buying power by making a small initial purchase. If that goes through, they move on to their true target, which is often an expensive, high-end item. Banks, therefore, are inherently suspicious when cardholders buy a pack of gum, for example, and then immediately buy a high-end barbecue grill. This is especially true when you’re making more than one large purchase.
- Make unusually large purchases
Banks use software and algorithms to detect fraud, but your personal spending habits likely play a role. If, for example, you typically spend N2,000 to N5,000 a day on your debit card, your bank will surely notice when a N100,000 withdrawal or purchase for a new and expensive item comes through.
Banks are especially sceptical of large cash advances, gold and electronics purchases. Any purchase that is uncharacteristically large can act as a red flag to your bank, causing them to render your card useless at the Point of Sale machine or Automated Teller Machine.
- Buy luxury items that are irresistible to thieves
Certain items are typically associated with card fraud, such as consumer electronics and jewellery, said Sol Nasisi, co-founder and president of personal finance site, BestCashCow.com. Small transactions here and there aren’t going to sound off any alarm bells, at least at first.
But some luxury purchases are especially likely to send up red flags. Some specific high-end items are frequent targets for thieves shopping with stolen credit cards, according to MarketWatch; banks are on the lookout for purchases of Rolex watches, MacBooks, Louis Vuitton handbags and luxury hotel room stays.
- Shop in high-fraud areas
Making several successive purchases in neighbourhoods that are prone to fraud can trigger a freeze on an account that results in a card being declined, according to Forbes, especially with large purchases.
Credit card or debit card fraud and identity theft attacks are concentrated in some states and cities far more heavily than others, according to recent data from Sift Science. Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Aba and other key commercial cities in the country rank high.
Few things can ruin a shopping trip more totally than having your card get declined, especially when it’s not your fault. Luckily, a fairly simple remedy for this embarrassing and inconvenient annoyance is to call your bank ahead of time. If you’re travelling, especially overseas, or if you’re planning to make a large or otherwise peculiar purchase, letting your bank know beforehand can mean smooth sailing at the ATM machine or PoS counter.
If your card is declined, don’t panic. Just call your bank, confirm that the purchase was legitimate and ask them to remove the fraud alert.
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