SHOPPERS could have payments declined when shopping online from tomorrow because of new fraud checks.

Customers are being warned by their banks and retailers that they are likely to face more security steps when making purchases.

Strong customer authentication (SCA) rules will add an extra layer of security to online transactions to protect from fraud.

Many retailers and banks already have these steps in place, such as being sent an SMS to your mobile with passcode to confirm a payment.

But from Monday (March 14) all shops must follow these new rules for online sales.

Your card could be declined if you don't complete the extra step, or if a retailer has not added these steps to the checkout.

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Shoppers will have to prove it's them using their card in two ways rather then one, for example a password and a one-off code sent to their phone, or a fingerprint or facial recognition.

You may also be asked to prove who you are via the VISA Secure or Mastercard Identity Check services.

Some banks will also let you approve a transaction through its mobile banking app.

Those without a mobile phone, dodgy signal at home or who don't use a banking app should be able to choose other ways to get a passcode, such as a message via landline phone, or a card reader.

The options available will depend on who you bank with.

Purchases under £25 are free from the checks but several transaction below this amount in a short space of time could trigger the extra step.

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The new checks will apply to both debit and credit card purchases and to transferring cash from one account to another for the first time.

The stricter checks are being introduced to help fight online fraud and will apply to around one in four purchases made online, up from the around 1% now.

More than £750m was stolen via online fraud in the first half of last year, and that figure is only growing as more people shop online and scammers get savvier.

Banks are warning customers about the new steps when shopping online and telling them how to prepare and it means you can avoid any declined transactions.

You'll need to check that the contact details you have with your banks are up to date with the correct phone number and email address.

If you don't use your bank's app you may need to download it, or if you use it already then you should check it's the latest version and update if it's not.

How to protect yourself from fraud

In addition to these new checks, you can take step to protect yourself from criminals who are after your cash.

Action Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:

  • When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
  • Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls – watch out for these.
  • You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.

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