Had your credit card compromised? If so, you are not alone.
According to data that reveals credit card fraud statistics (compiled by financial companies including Aite Group and ACI Worldwide), Singapore is one of the top ten highest-rated countries worldwide when it comes to credit card frauds. As the case studies can verify, at least three in nine consumers are not safe from the crime.
Here is a number of prevention strategies that can help you protect yourself against credit card fraud.
#1: Learn & Understand Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud in Singapore can sometimes go unreported because not all Singaporeans are aware of the fraudulent behaviour. A basic strategy is to learn what credit card fraud is.
There is a range of credit card fraud definitions because “credit card fraud” is a set of broad terms that describes different credit card-related fraudulent acts. These fraudulent acts refer to all types of frauds that involve the use of credit cards – from basic misuse to major criminal activities. Some common credit card fraud definitions include lost or stolen cards and questionable change (addition or deduction of amounts) in original account balance.
These fraudulent acts may involve theft, in which one person is using another person’s credit card without consent. In such credit card fraud cases, one person is illegally using a card holder’s account (using it to purchase items, to change the PIN, and/or to change important details) for his own interest. The odds are, the stolen credit card will be maxed out.
It can also be a type of identity theft. In this scenario, one person steals the identity of a card holder (such as use another’s birthdate, social security number, employer info, and contact number). The reason for the takeover of personal information is because of the required details to apply for new credit cards. This could lead to additional financial responsibility for the victim because he may end up having to pay for the new credit cards under his name.
#2: Check Account Balance Regularly
Checking your account balance regularly is both an easy and smart preventive measure against credit card fraud. It’s easy because it just takes a couple of seconds. It’s smart because it lets you know of any suspicious credit card activity directly.
So, always keep a close watch on your existing balance. Note the amount, and the next time you check, note whether any deductions from that amount are made according to your personal use.
The regularity is up to you – and it depends on how frequent you use your credit card. You can do it daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.
#3: Do Not Share Credit Card Information & Other Personal Details with Strangers
Do you want to know a sure-fire way to avoid credit card fraud? Do not share information with anyone, at all – not even with your family and friends. Chances are, if the information is out there, it might get into the wrong hands.
The need to be careful is given emphasis when strangers enter the picture. Talking about credit card-related topics with strangers is a big “NO”. Even if such conversations seem harmless, you should avoid this practice. More importantly, always be mindful of the information you share. Do not give out takeaway information such as PIN, account name and account number, and bank name.
#4: Learn More about Double Swiping
Observe your credit card. Do you notice the magnetic stripe on it? This magnetic stripe is very important. It contains encoded data that reveals important information and sensitive payment details.
Make sure that when you’ll be swiping your card on cash registers, Point-of-Sale machines, and other electronic card-readers, you protect this magnetic stripe. Make sure that this part of your credit card doesn’t come in contact with these devices.
Otherwise, you’re doomed. Because your personal data was collected, you’re susceptible to credit card fraud. This act of exposing the magnetic stripe on your card to electronic devices is called double swiping.
While you can’t resolve the issue once your credit card data has already been collected, you can count on your bank’s assistance. Call them to give information about the double swiping that occurred. This way, the bank can cooperate with you. For one, the bank can discontinue any account activity.
#5: Be Mindful of Online Banking Safety Techniques
Because 2017 is a year when the number of tech-savvy individuals continues to increase, you have to watch your back if you’re engaging in online banking activities. If you are their target, the most competent hackers can figure out a way to get into your account.
According to Credit Bureau Singapore, a safe approach to online banking is to be cautious. Learn about different online banking safety techniques for credit card fraud prevention.
Some of these online banking safety techniques are:
- Double-check whether or not you typed in the correct URL of your bank’s website.
- Never reply to any unsolicited e-mails. If an e-mail address differs from your bank’s e-mail address, never click links. Better yet, don’t open it.
- Double-check each log-out session. Make sure that you’re logged out successfully.
The Last Say: Fraudulent Behaviour Should Be Reported
If you believe that you’re a victim of credit card fraud, report the case immediately. If you find anything suspicious in your account activity, don’t hesitate to have a close investigation performed. The sooner that you file a report, the sooner the problem is resolved.
Start by approaching your bank or a credit bureau – particularly, the section that handles credit card fraud cases. As much as possible, you should cooperate by providing accurate details. Remember to be honest and try not to leave out any necessary information. Give the bank or the credit bureau information (such as the most recent credit card activities and transaction history).
As soon as you successfully report the credit card fraud, the bank or the credit bureau will start with the application of preventive measures for credit card account protection. Some of the preventive measures include instructing different potential creditors to disregard requests for lines of credit under your name, and initiating a credit freeze.
How about you? What do you think of the discussion about credit card fraud? Kindly share your opinions about credit card fraud in the comments section.