Ever been a victim of credit card frauds? It’s a bother to have to call up the credit card companies, make reports, prove that they are fraudulent transactions and there’s a great deal of worrying involved. Why subject yourself to such mental and emotional exhaustion?
Credit card frauds are definitely unnecessary and can be prevented with the right precautions. You don’t have to give up all your credit cards, but don’t wait and regret only after you have fallen prey due to your own silly human errors – practice these safety measures. Protect your credit card details and most importantly, your finances.
- Keep your credit card details to yourself
Treat your credit card like your own personal identification number. It should not be unnecessarily shared with people that you do not fully trust, and the card itself should be kept out of sight of strangers. DO NOT divulge your credit card information on any form of visual platform (computer, mobile, or even written on a scrap of paper) as it can be picked up by the wrong person looking for devious opportunities.
- Take anti-theft/robbery measures
Safe-keep credit cards to prevent it from being. Keep your credit card in your wallet at all times and close to you, or leave your cards at home if you’re not going to use them, especially on extended trips. If your home is an unsecured area, consider getting a locked safe to stash it in. If you are travelling, use bags that are not easy to snatch away or tear apart. There are many bags now that have been manufactured and touted as being theft-proof. If you can, invest in one to lessen the chances of a theft.
- Notify your credit card company if you’re travelling overseas or far away
Many people overlook this, but this is a really useful way to prevent fraud. Credit card companies automatically block cards if suspicious activity occurs, including transactions in places that you haven’t visited before.
- Watch how your card is handled during a transaction
Often, credit card fraud can happen right under our noses. This is common in restaurants, retail stores or shops providing services. Usually, a rigged credit card device is used and with one swipe, your credit card information in retrieved and the perpetrator can use your card. To prevent this from occurring, follow where your card goes to witness the transaction being carried out with your card. When you keep a close eye, criminals are less likely to commit credit card fraud. Aside from this, make sure to frequent the more reputable commerce stores and avoid making transactions with those that seem shady.
- Protect your accounts
If your cards have expired or accounts have been closed, shred or cut up your credit cards to prevent them from being used to reopen accounts. Also when using ATM machines, ensure that there is nothing fishy about it – for example: glue, tampering marks, hidden cameras or skimmers, which are devices thieves use to get confidential information. Lastly, never use public wifi to check your finances account. To be safe, don’t do it in public areas where others can take a peek at your information.
- Only use verified online payment gateways!
The cyber platform is exactly where a silent war is waged between hackers and digital security personnel. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to take precautionary measures especially if you prefer shopping online. Where possible, use only reputed credit card payment gateways like Paypal, Amazon Payments or Red Dot Payment, which is Singapore-based. Such widely used payment gateways usually have anti-hacking measures in place to keep out any hackers from accessing the sensitive payment information. If an online shop does not provide an option for payment through these middlemen, then look for another site that does, or use an alternative form of payment.
- Track your expenses and compare with statements
A constant check into your accounts and credit card receipts can also be useful in identifying transactions on your card that were not made by you. While often this can be a step too late in terms of being pre-emptive, monitoring accounts regularly lets us cover any areas that might have been left out despite being extremely careful. An unwarranted hack into a banking system is one such example.
Just as they say, don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game – with these precautions, don’t let the fear of credit card fraud stop you from enjoying brilliant credit card promotions (find them all with Cardable).
Written by Claudia Li.
Edited by Elaine Tay.
About the Writer: A 90s kid, Claudia is always on the lookout for the best credit cards to supplement her lifestyle. She isn’t afraid of credit card salesmen who approach in public for a chat, and constantly works out the best ways to save on any transaction with her arsenal of cards. Previously in the marketing industry, she now writes on various topics including personal finance, business marketing and other interests.
About the Editor: Elaine is the marketing director of Cardable. She has been exposed to the credit card and finance industry.