With the hugely popular credit card facility and the ability to purchase just about anything anywhere comes a risk of fraud. Globally, credit card fraud is serious and run into billions of pounds and takes different forms.
Before you begin using your credit card, ensure all loopholes that could see you losing lots of money to scammers and identity fraud cons are closed. Bank and financial institutions are always insisting on remaining vigilant at any given time while purchasing items on the web, learning about phishing scams and fraudsters and reporting stolen and lost cards as fast as you can.
Sensible with ATMs
Credit card fraud shouldn’t be a reason not to use your card or not to draw out money from a cash machine. However, you should be extra careful while withdrawing from ATMs and protect your PIN superbly well. If you see signs of damage to the ATM or if something doesn’t look genuine, steer clear and use another ATM.
If you must shop online, do so on a secure, safe and trustworthy websites to avoid being a credit card fraud victim.
Remain safe online
No one wants to be a part of credit card fraud statistics. On the web, the severity of credit card scams cannot be underestimated. Ensuring your identity remains safe and your money secure is key. If you must shop, ensure the websites are trusted and merchants reputable.
Before adding personal credit card information ensure the website begins with “https” or a padlock image on the screen’s corner. Purchasing from these secure sites means you can trust the business and the site itself to keep your information secure and ensure it is not easily hacked by scammers. As you purchase on the internet, always uncheck the request to “store my credit card for future purchases” or its equivalent.
Most importantly, always take a step to analyse your credit card transactions by checking statements often to look for transactions you didn’t authorise.
Secure internet connection
For online shoppers, ensure the internet connection in use is as secure as possible, especially when transacting your financials online. Learn about phishing scams where emails that look very legitimate are sent to you from seemingly reputable companies or people and banks such as yours requesting you to do something such as confirming your personal details or renewing something.
If you click the links in the phishing email, you probably will be taken to a site that looks very legitimate and will possibly ruse you into sharing your details like PINs, social security information and bank account digits.
The rule of thumb is to never reveal or share your personal information or passwords with any soul on the web. Whether the email or website looks genuine or not your credit card details could be leaked and used for all the wrong reasons. Impostors are everywhere, and your credit card is the ultimate prize.
Protect passwords and pins
The reasons passwords and pins are provided is to protect you from diverse fraud forms. To be on the safe side, avoid signing receipts but stick to PIN (personal identification number). If you believe your PIN could be compromised, get in touch with your bank and have it changed.
Never divulge passwords and PINs to others or write them on a paper or anywhere else such as a shared computer. Be very wary of cash machines and make sure no one is able to see you input your number. Set PINs that are not predictable such as telephone numbers and birth date.
For online banking, use the strongest possible password. Avoid using easy to guess passwords, such as your spouse, kids, town, city or dogs name.
Keeps credit cards separate
For a British businessman, an identity theft that started with the loss of his passport had him incurring £130,000 Germany tax bill, yet he’d never been to Germany and was also fighting a court order worth £34,000 for things he didn’t understand, including a company in Isle of Man with his details. This can happen to anyone and can be a lot worse if you store all of your ID and credit cards together.
Keep your credit cards separate from anything that has your birth date or address such as driving license, identity card or passport.
Public credit card use
When purchasing goods or using an ATM, always keep your cards shielded, safe and never unattended. Be attentive to the person just behind you and ensure there’s a safe distance between you.
Keep contact information updated to receive suspicious activity notifications on your credit card use. Most importantly, always review bank and credit card statements to look for suspicious and unwarranted purchases and withdrawals. If you find anything that doesn’t seem right call the building society, bank or credit card provider immediately.