What is card fraud?

Card fraud involves criminals stealing cards, card details online, or from ATM machines to access and use your money.

What we do to protect you from card fraud

Our fraud detection systems work 24/7 looking for suspicious transactions on your accounts. We try to stop them before they affect you.

If we spot something suspicious, we'll put a block on your card and send you a fraud alert message by text or automated voice call. It's a quick and easy process to either confirm the fraud or remove the block from your card.

How you can keep your personal information safe

Make it difficult for criminals to get hold of your personal information.

You should always:

  • Protect your computers and mobile devices. Use strong passwords and up-to-date virus checkers.

  • Make sure no one can see you enter your PIN when using your card in shops and using cash machines (ATMs). If an ATM keeps your card, report it immediately.

  • Know who you're buying from before you give your card details.

  • Check your balance and statements regularly. Tell us if you spot anything you don't recognise.

  • Keep your contact details up to date.

Don't ever:

  • Choose personal details like your date of birth as your PIN or write it down.

  • Share your PIN with anyone, even your bank or building society.

  • Use a suspicious-looking ATM.

  • Try to remove a suspect device from an ATM. If you're in doubt, tell the branch or police immediately.

Types of card fraud

To help you protect yourself against card fraud, we've listed some of the most common types. Call us straight away if you think you've been a victim of card fraud.

Card fraud online, over the phone or by mail order

Someone uses your card details to make purchases without having your card.

To get your card details, they may try to:

Counterfeit card fraud

Someone steals your card details using a skimming device at an ATM or shop. They use them to create a fake card. This is often used to make cash withdrawals and purchases in countries where Chip and PIN isn't used.

Lost and stolen card fraud

When your debit or credit card is used to make cash withdrawals and purchases. In some cases, criminals use techniques like shoulder surfing to get your PIN before stealing your card.

Mobile payment (tokenised) fraud

Fraudsters use your card details in a mobile app, like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Your bank or building society still has to approve adding the card to the app (tokenising). But if the fraudsters get approval, they can use the phone to make in-app purchases and make contactless payments.

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay are available on selected devices and operating systems. Apple Pay and Apple are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google, Android, Google Pay and Google Wallet are trademarks of Google LLC. Samsung and Samsung Pay are trademarks or registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Cash machine (ATM) fraud

There are many ways fraudsters try to steal cards and their details at ATMs. We've described some so you can take steps to avoid them happening to you.

Shoulder surfing

Someone watches you entering your PIN at an ATM or in a shop, before stealing your card. They often use distraction techniques or pickpocketing.

Skimming from the magnetic stripe

Skimming uses a device and camera attached to an ATM. These record the details from the magnetic stripe of your card and your PIN as you enter it.

They create a fake card using your details and use it to make cash withdrawals and purchases.

Card trapping devices

These devices look like part of the ATM. They capture and keep your card. Criminals may try to trick you into re-entering your PIN while they watch. They remove the device and your card when you leave.

How to report fraud

Current account fraud

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Credit card fraud

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to report a suspicious message

Suspicious messages

Help us stop fraud. Report suspicious emails, texts and messages to: phishing@nationwide.co.uk

We don't reply to every email but review all the messages we receive. This information helps us to stop crime. Thank you.