Fraud losses are inflated by bank limits that are set too high


Fraudsters take advantage of people’s ignorance regarding their account and card limits, which are often unreasonably high.

Vigilance and a critical attitude towards dubious offers and websites is welcome, but it is only part of the battle to protect your money. Although people think they won’t be taken in by a scam phone call, scam letter, card scam or similar scam, anyone can fall victim to a well-timed or well-crafted scheme.

So it’s always worth bearing in mind the possibility that criminals are one step ahead of us and we may unsuspectingly give them access to our account or card details. To minimise potential losses, you should review your bank limits and keep them as low as possible.

According to Annika Goroško, Head of Retail Banking at LHV, low payment and card limits make the life of a fraudster more difficult, because even if a person mistakenly gives a criminal access to their bank account (or bank card), the fraudster will have to raise the limits to get the larger amount. ‘However, this is an extra step where a large proportion of the victims realise that they are being defrauded,’ notes Goroško.

Limits are more than twice the actual need

Many bank clients don’t remember or don’t know how high the limits are for their money. ‘Based on recent analysis, we can say that private clients keep their monthly payment limit in LHV Internet Bank at the level of EUR 5,800, on average, and the average daily limit is EUR 2,600. The median monthly limit for private clients (i.e., exactly half of the clients have a higher limit and half have a lower limit) is EUR 3,000 and the median daily limit is EUR 1,000,’ says Goroško.

However, if we compare the statistics on limits with actual outgoing payments, the maximum daily amount of payments, or the daily limit required among these billing private clients is, on average, EUR 1,340, with a median of EUR 300. The average value of settlements per month is EUR 2,280 and the median value of payments is EUR 580.

‘Statistics clearly show that people generally keep their limits at a level that is double what they actually need, “just in case”. At the same time, a high limit means that if a person falls victim to fraud, it is easier for the fraudster to operate within the limit,’ says Goroško.

The same situation applies to daily and monthly limits for bank card transactions – cash withdrawals, card and contactless payments and Internet purchases – which are significantly higher than the actual amounts of card payments.

Changing limits is easy

‘We recommend that you keep the limits as low as possible, at a level that suits your daily needs, and then increase them to make larger payments. It is also important to lower the limits again after making large purchases or payments,’ stresses Goroško.

If the limits are found to be unnecessarily high, they can be easily changed if necessary. You can change the daily and monthly limits of your LHV bank card on the go, when you are logged in to your mobile app or the Internet Bank. Account limits can be easily changed in the LHV Internet Bank.

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LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group’s key subsidiaries are LHV Pank, LHV Varahaldus, LHV Kindlustus, and LHV Bank Limited. The Group’s companies employ more than 940 people. As of May, LHV’s banking services are being used by 398,000 clients, the pension funds managed by LHV have 129,000 active clients, and LHV Kindlustus protects a total of 160,000 clients. The Group’s subsidiary LHV Bank owns a banking licence in the United Kingdom and offers banking services to international fintech companies and loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

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