Credit card fraud is a serious problem that can be very distressing for the victims. Although anyone can be affected by credit card fraud, there are a number of things that you can do to minimise the risk of becoming a victim yourself. Here are some simple but effective ways to stay safe when using your credit cards.
Be Safe Online
If you use your credit card online, always make sure that you take special care over your security. There are a number of ways to stay safer when shopping online, and these include:
- Sign up to the MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa schemes to make your purchases even safer.
- Never provide your password or PIN in response to an email.
- Always make sure that any links you follow from an email or elsewhere actually go to your bank’s website.
- Don’t use your credit card or access your online bank account when connecting to your computer via a public Wi-Fi network or from an internet cafe.
- Always have the latest antivirus software installed on your computer.
Cancel Your Card Immediately if You Lose It
As soon as you realise that you have lost your credit card, call up the hotline to get it cancelled. Your bank can then cancel the card and prevent anyone from using it. If you later find your card after it has been cancelled, make sure that you destroy it.
Keep Your PIN Secret
Never write down your PIN for your credit card, and never tell anyone else what it is. Your card issuer will never ask for the number, so if anyone asks you for it then you know that something is wrong.
Take Care with Your Receipts
Never throw away your credit card receipts in the bin without first destroying them. The best way to destroy them is in a shredder, and this will prevent anyone from getting access to your personal data.
Take Care when Buying Goods or Withdrawing Cash
When you are buying something in a shop, always be careful to protect your PIN number so that no one sees what you type. Also, never let anyone working in the shop take your card out of your sight.
When using an ATM, be wary of anyone standing too close behind you, and always make sure that you cover the keyboard with your free hand when you type in your PIN. If something goes wrong with the machine or you cannot remove your card, always report it to the bank and cancel your card.
Be Wary When You Receive a Call from Your Bank
If you receive a call from your bank, never provide them with any passwords or sensitive data unless you are absolutely sure that you are speaking to a representative from the bank. If you are unsure, always ask for a number to call them back on, and then check if this number is correct.
Use Your Credit Cards Safely
Credit card fraud affects thousands of people every year. To reduce the chances of being affected by fraud yourself, make sure that you follow the above tips. All of these are very simple to follow, but they could make all the difference when it comes to avoiding credit card fraud.
Image credit: Andres Rueda (flickr)