The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual and contactless ways of working, but unfortunately payment fraud perpetrated by external parties, including credit card theft, has also increased and became more sophisticated during the pandemic. From 2020 to 2021, consumer fraud increased 70%, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced earlier this year. Online shopping was a top source of fraud, with losses increasing from $246 million in 2020 to $392 million in 2021, according to the FTC.

With online fraud increasing, and fraudulent charges on Stanford-issued credit cards typically peaking during the winter holidays, cardholders and custodians of Purchasing Cards (PCards) and Travel Cards (TCards) need to be especially vigilant at this time of year.

Although the Card Services team monitors PCard and TCard accounts for potential fraud throughout the winter close, cardholders and custodians also play an important role in protecting Stanford. Follow these tips to keep your cards safe as the holidays approach:

Order what you need now

  • Before winter close, take time to pay now for the services and supplies you will need in December and January that you normally charge to your PCard. This step will help you avoid using your PCard during winter closure. Consider placing orders through Amazon Business or SmartMart Catalog Suppliers instead, which are the preferred purchasing methods at Stanford.

Limit who has access to your card

  • Never lend or share an individual PCard or any TCard.
  • Do not write down the account number for your PCard or TCard or share the account number with others.
  • Limit the use of department PCards to a few designated employees. Maintain a log to track the usage and location of the card.
  • Avoid using your PCard on your personal Amazon account. Please use Amazon Business to create a purchase requisition for purchases if necessary.
  • Only use the card on secure and reputable websites, and do not save the card number as a default or future payment method.

Physically secure your card

  • When the card is not in use, keep it in a locked unit.
  • Do not carry a Stanford-issued credit card in your wallet, where you could mistakenly misuse it or lose it.

Monitor your card for fraud

  • Enroll your PCard or TCard in JPMorgan Chase fraud alerts, which will notify you immediately by text message, email or phone call if there are any suspicious transactions on your account. This is a simple way to help keep your card secure.
  • Check your PCard and TCard transactions regularly for fraudulent charges. If you find a fraudulent charge, or if your card is lost or stolen, follow the steps on the PCard or TCard policy page to report the problem.
  • If you have questions about potential fraud, please call JPMorgan Chase at 1-800-316-6056 or call the number on the back of the card.

To learn more, visit Preventing Fraud on Purchasing Cards and Travel Cards. Information about cardholder misuse, cardholder fraud, and the consequences of misuse and fraud was also recently clarified on Fingate.

If you have questions or need help, please submit a support request to the Card Services Team.

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