9 Tips To Avoid Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud
Today, more and more retail outlets, coffee shops and restaurants are becoming cashless. Coupled with online transactions, the world is moving away from cash and becoming solely reliant on credit cards. This is convenient and efficient and comes with some massive benefits. Nonetheless, a risk that comes with this territory is credit card fraud.
In today’s information age, when our digital footprint is almost always being tracked, it is important to be aware of security precautions. Always keep your guard up for potential scams and scenarios of fraud. There are some simple steps that you can follow to avoid this happening. Always consult with your bank or financial institution if you think you are at risk or have been the victim of credit card fraud.
1. Shred Your Statements
One of the easiest ways to avoid credit card fraud is to keep your cards safe. Use a wallet or purse to secure your cards. Keep them close to your body to ensure that they are not easily snatched off you. Women should be extra cautious that their purse or handbag is properly zipped. When walking through a busy street or store, an unzipped handbag can be the perfect opportunity for a thief to make their move. Don’t leave your credit card unattended for any longer than necessary. When paying a bill in a bar or restaurant, don’t leave your credit card lying around on a table. Fraudsters can take a picture of your card and use this to carry out transactions.
2. Shred Your Statements
Use a shredder to discard of your credit card statements. When you receive a letter from the bank or financial institution, it most likely has your full credit card number on it. This is not the sort of information you want to discard in the same manner as a cereal box. Properly dispose of this personal information by using a shredder to destroy any physical record of your account.
3. Review Your Statements
When you get your credit card statement, review it to determine whether all the transactions are accurate. No matter how small a transaction appears, make sure to question its legitimacy, as your details could have been compromised by scammers. Keep hold of your receipts after you make a purchase, and match them off with what you spent on your credit card. This is the best method of determining the accuracy of your statement.
4. Don't Sign Blank Cheques or Receipts
Be wary of signing a blank credit card receipt. For example, if you are in a bar and the server provides you with a credit card receipt, make sure that there are no blank spaces. If there are, insert $0, or draw a line through the blank space. Leaving it blank leaves you susceptible to credit card fraud as someone could write in an amount, and charge it to your credit card provider.
5. Be Wary of Phone Calls
Scam artists often use the phone to commit credit card fraud. Someone assuming the identity of your bank or financial institution may call you up asking you details about your account. The number they ring you off may resemble the number of the bank. All the details they give you may seem legitimate. However, these are experts scammers and know how to make themselves convincing to you. Therefore, you should only give you credit card detail over the phone on a call that you have initiated. In doing this, you will know who you are talking to before giving out your information. It is also a good tip to use the number of the back of your card, as this will provide you with an extra level of security.
6. Keep Safe Online
We all make transactions online. It makes life easier and more convenient. However, credit card fraud is a huge danger on the internet. Phishing scams are used to steal the card information of the public. These can be in the form of an email, supposedly from your card provider. Just like phone scams, these fraudsters have become adept at portraying themselves as your bank. Most likely your card provider will never ask you for personal information via an email. It is also important to be wary of the websites you enter your card information into. Always check the address bar to make sure it includes https:// as this indicates a secure site. Entering your card information into an unsecured site opens you up to dangers of credit card fraud.
7. Create Strong Passwords
When making online transactions, make sure to use strong passwords. Many websites will hint at this process when establishing an account, but for your own security make sure you follow through on their advice. A strong password should include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
8. Report Lost or Stolen Cards
If you happen to lose your card, or you believe it to be stolen, report it immediately to your service provider. The quicker you report a lost or stolen card, the less chance you will have to pay for fraudulent transactions carried out. Most card providers have a time limit, whereby a report submitted in a timely manner covers you for any fraudulent transactions. Don’t leave it to chance that your card details will be secure. Report it immediately as it amounts to identity theft, and there could be further consequences further down the road.
9. Be Careful at ATMs
Watch out at ATMs for card skimming technology. These can be unnoticed to the untrained eye and can result in your providing information to fraudsters. Skimming devices are also installed in gas stations, ticket terminals and other outlets where you may use your card. To avoid credit card fraud, make sure to cover the numbers as you enter your pin. If you suspect anything is out of place, go to another ATM or use another source of payment.