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Familiar fraud happens when a family member, usually a child, knowingly or unknowingly uses a credit or debit card without the card holder’s permission.

Kids usually make unauthorized card payments for the following reasons:

  • Video game in-app purchases
  • Subscriptions
  • Online shopping

It’s important to know that close family friends, caregivers, or anyone who has access to your personal documents and information can also commit family or familiar fraud–to open new accounts, apply for loans or credit cards, make large purchases, or steal your identity.

If familiar fraud happens to you, the issue can normally be resolved with the merchant and your bank. But not all merchants are amenable to refunds, so it’s best to ensure this doesn’t happen in the first place. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Keep your account private. Never share your card or account information with anyone, even to your family members.
  2. Regularly check your balance, transaction history, and Statement of Account (SOA), especially if your family members have supplementary cards under your account.
  3. Protect your bank and personal details. Take extra steps to keep your sensitive documents in a safe place, and don’t leave your bank cards lying around the house or on your desk at work.
  4. Make sure your registered contact details are updated so you can receive transaction alerts and OTPs from your bank.

Remember, your account is personal and it is your responsibility to not give it out freely, even to your family.

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