Tesco Bank cancels credit cards in response to suspected fraud

13 March 2018   By Angela Moran

Tesco Bank took action earlier this week after fears that a third party had compromised some of its credit card accounts.

tesco bank letter
Credit: chrisdorney/Shutterstock.com

Very little information has been provided by Tesco Bank about the source of the suspected security compromise, but a Tesco spokesperson said the action was "precautionary" and "the result of industry-wide fraud protection measures."

Affected customers received a text message to tell them that their card had been cancelled and will receive a new one within the week.

Latest challenge for Tesco Bank

This latest problem for Tesco Bank comes after it was forced to cancel customer credit cards just before Christmas last year because of exactly the same issue.

At the time, Tesco Bank cancelled an unconfirmed but small number of credit cards, again because of a third party compromise that came to light during the course of their standard fraud prevention measures.

On that occasion the timing couldn't have been worse, leaving customers without access to credit just before Christmas - which is a time when a lot of card fraud occurs.

Prior to this, in 2016 Tesco Bank suffered a massive current account compromise and had to refund 20,000 of its customers after a data breach at an unidentified retailer allowed fraudsters to steal money from customer accounts.

Around 9,000 customers in total were affected by the fraudulent activity and received a collective refund of £2.5 million.

Fraud protection

Bearing this in mind, it's important to remember the actions we should all be taking to protect ourselves from credit and debit account fraud.

ActionFraud, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Agency, classes this type of fraud as: "When personal information is stolen from your debit, credit or store card, or the card itself is stolen, in order for money to be taken from your account or used to buy items in your name."

There are a number of ways that fraudsters can do this, such as stealing card details, cloning cards using information held in card chips and tricking consumers into giving up their details.

But there are also lots of ways that consumers can protect themselves from these tactics.

We've got a dedicated guide on how we can all protect ourselves from credit card fraud, as well as lots of tips for staying safe online, such as avoiding being tricked by dodgy communications and information on the specialist software that's available for web browsing.

Seeing as it's not just when we're online that fraud occurs, we've also got information on how to avoid PIN fraud, what to watch out for with telephone scams and what to do if your card is lost or stolen.

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