Credit card fraud on the Internet

The credit card is a popular means of payment. Fraudsters like to take advantage of this. In this interview, Ioannis Martinis explains how you can protect yourself.


Lara Brunner

Mr Martinis, what constitutes credit card fraud?

Unauthorised persons use forged or stolen credit card details. In doing so, they hurt the credit card holder financially.

How does credit card misuse differ from this?

The two expressions are considered synonyms in colloquial use. That is not quite correct from a legal point of view. Where credit card misuse is concerned, the credit card holder themselves is the perpetrator. They use their card, even though they know that they cannot pay the invoice. Credit card misuse does not involve an external attack.

So what does an external attack look like?

A classic attack takes place via phishing e-mails, for example. The aim of such attacks is to get hold of information like the credit card number, the card’s expiry date and security code. However, the login details of your e-banking account or PayPal account are also sought after by fraudsters.

How does phishing work?

Fraudsters ask recipients to reveal their credit card details under a pretext. The fact that the e-mails were sent from a fake e-mail address is often not noticed by recipients. They think they know the sender and reveal their details.

Are there other methods of credit card fraud?

Keylogger Trojans are dangerous, for example. Such malware records everything you write: e-mails, logins and credit card details. The information is then forwarded to the fraudsters. Another method is cloning which involves the perpetrator duplicating the credit card details which you entered on a fake website while purchasing something online. They then use the data for their own transactions. Cloning can occur either online or offline, which is why it is important not to let your own credit card out of your sight when you make a payment.

Worldwide: Helsana Advocare EXTRA legal expenses insurance

It is frequently the case that in addition to the sunglasses ordered online, there are many inexplicable items listed on the credit card statement. What now?

With Helsana Advocare EXTRA legal expenses insurance, you benefit from legal advice and representation in case of legal problems. These include incorrect credit card charges. However, we also assist you in case of any disputes with your landlord or employer – and in case of any damage to your vehicle. With these and other benefits, you supplement your legal expenses cover in health matters and legal expenses cover abroad provided by your TOP, COMPLETA or OMNIA supplementary insurance.

Attractive discounts
  • 100% discount for children and young people up to the age of 18
  • 50% discount for young people aged 19 to 25
  • 25% partner discount for two or more people

How can I protect myself against credit card fraudsters?

Caution and common sense are essential. Only purchase from trustworthy companies online. Do some brief research. This will enable you to quickly find out more about the supplier. Delete any suspicious messages immediately. Country settings are also helpful. They limit the use of the credit card to specific countries. The fewer countries you approve for use of your card, the greater the protection.

Who pays for the damages incurred?

Whether the credit card issuer or the credit card holder is liable depends on both the former’s general terms and conditions and the customer’s behaviour. They must comply with their due diligence obligations. These stipulate how to handle the credit card and the associated data.

Could you give us an example?

Keep your card in a secure location and do not pass it on to anyone. You should also not store your PIN and card together. And your PIN must not be too easy to guess. I also advise you to always shield the keypad when you enter your PIN and to carefully check the card statement. If anything seems wrong, please report it to your bank immediately. If you lose your card or it is stolen, you have to arrange for your card to be blocked immediately.

In case of credit card fraud, how do you benefit from Helsana Advocare EXTRA?

We discuss with the client what exactly happened and have a look at the legal situation. If the credit card issuer is liable, we assert claims on behalf of our client – possibly also through legal channels. Our aim is to keep damages incurred by clients to a minimum.

Ioannis Martinis, lic. iur., MAS Digital Business. Ioannis Martinis, lic. iur., MAS Digital Business.

Ioannis Martinis, lic. iur., MAS Digital Business.

In his capacity as Head of Legal Tech and a member of the management team of Helsana Rechtsschutz AG, Ioannis Martinis is in charge of the Artificial Intelligence and Legal Tech projects. Moreover, he processes cases in the digital space. He is also a lecturer in Law in the Digital Age and Head of the Digital Law Seminar at the HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich. He speaks at conferences and in companies and law firms on the combination of technology and law.

Further information


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