Scams in the virtual world have become even more common in pandemic. With the increase in online purchases in this period, the record of digital fraud grew equally rapidly. Research carried out by TransUnion, an international information solutions and data insights company, indicates that online identity theft, known as Phishing, is the main cybercrime scheme in the world. In Brazil, theft of credit cards and fraudulent charges correspond to 26% of complaints.

According to the Brazilian Electronic Commerce Association (ABCOMM), 2020 saw a 68% growth in online sales, with sales of R $ 126,3 billion. There were more than 300 million orders placed by consumers across the country. 


With this explosion of commercialization on the Internet, virtual credit cards have come to be used more and more. They reduce the risk of cloning in relation to physical cards, but, unfortunately, they are not able to avoid it. Fecomércio data show that the country has an average of R $ 60 billion in losses arising from this type of crime each year.

Digital credit cards, such as Nubank, can also be stolen. / Credits: Blog Nubank

Emile Santos, customer of Nubank, reports that she was notified by the institution about a suspicious movement: “I received notification of confirmation of the UBER app card, but as I didn't even have the app downloaded on my cell phone, I was surprised and blocked it immediately. The next day, I unlocked it and, around 14 pm, I received another notification, this time from the Burguer King app, which I also didn't have on my cell phone. But, this last one, I didn't block it in time and the confirmation of a purchase of R $ 66,70 arrived. I immediately blocked and reported on the Nubank app. I deleted the virtual card and they, at first, canceled the purchase and refunded the amount ”.

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According to the client, who did not reveal age or profession, the institution informed by email that, as the Burguer King had already processed the purchase, cancellation would not be possible. “At least they gave me a credit with the same amount. I confess that I was very insecure, as I did not imagine that this could happen ”, reported Emile. For greater protection, she generated a new virtual card in the app, but it leaves locked and only unlocks when she needs to buy something.

Similar cases to Emile's are reported by other fintech customers. Most complaints involve payments to companies of which the claimants are not customers, failure to notify the bank, physical transactions carried out in cities where these people have not been, and low-cost spending tests. Praise for the bank's service is also constant in most reports. However, many of them question the security of the application. The records are in the “Community”On the institution's website.

The indebtedness index goes up

In addition to the increase in the number of digital financial crimes, the growth in virtual purchases also reflects a greater risk of indebtedness for the population. The percentage of indebted families (with arrears or not) in the country reached 66,5% in January this year, according to the National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC). Of this total, 80,5% correspond to credit card debt, which represents a historical record.

Sources: ABCOMM / TransUnion

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