In a digital world where anything is now possible, credits cards remain the most convenient form of payment. It’s fast, easy and secure- thanks to the ever-changing technology. While technology provides a secure line of defense, it has also become easier for fraudsters to access your credit card information. You may get overjoyed about the extra $50 points in your account but not the same when you realize a $2000 charge you can’t account for. It’s therefore important to remain proactive so as to safeguard your account against fraud.
Let’s have a look at the best tips for effective credit card fraud prevention.
- Keep the credit cards safe
Always keep the cards far from fraudsters. You can keep the cards in a wallet where they can’t be easily noticed. Also, ensure the wallet is stored in safe pockets close to your body where you can feel it in case somebody tries to snatch it away. When shopping in a congested place, then use a small purse you can comfortably hold on with one hand.
Fraudsters have advanced their ways of stealing information from the credit cards. They can take pictures unnoticed especially when you leave your card exposed for long. Once you have made a purchase, safely keep your card in the wallet or purse. Before leaving the shopping mall, ensure you have your credit back.
- Shred unwanted documents containing your credit card information
After making payments, avoid throwing the billing statements straight into the trash. These statements usually contain your credit card number. Ensure you shred them completely to keep impostors from accessing your number. Do the same to expired or canceled credit cards. That’s not all. Notorious dumpsters can go an extra mile to put the shredded pieces of paper together. The best way is to keep these pieces in different trash bins.
- Use a Chip Card
If possible, use an embedded-chip card to make payments. These cards provide with an extra layer of security as compared to the traditional magnetic strips. When used, this microchip creates a distinctive and hard-to-guess code that varies with every payment. This makes it tougher to counterfeit thereby safeguarding your credit card information. Go to your credit card institution and ask for a chip card today.
- Use healthy skepticism
Most of us experience a bit nervous when dealing with new online merchants. This is even more for merchants operating a small site with few reviews. The reason is that fraudsters are knowing to create online shops purposely to skim information. To be on the safe side, only make purchases from reliable and verified sources. It’s easy to notice scam shops as they offer extremely low prices and unusually inventory. If anything looks strange. Give it a second thought. You may be right!
- Subscribe for mobile alerts
This is the best and fastest way to receive crucial and secure alerts concerning your credit cards. For transactions, low balance or event alerts, it’s recommended to sign up for event alerts. The best things with these alerts are that they come straight to your computer or phone either through an email or text. Real-time transaction alerts can also be used for suspicious and unapproved purchases.
- Don’t Sign blank Receipts
It’s important to double check the exact figures on your receipt before signing. Now, this is even more crucial when you receive a blank credit card receipt. Before you can sign the card, mark through the blank spaces or indicate $0. This way, you will prevent a con cashier who may indicate any amount on the credit. Some cashiers are known to take advantage of this and make payments to the credit card issuer.
- Act fast
In the past, banking heavily relied on manual and paper transactions. The opposite is true nowadays. Most of the transactions run on computerized processes making things easy and faster. Therefore, you should act fast whenever you notice unusual transactions on your credit card. Taking long to respond may give the fraudster an upper hand to access your information and cover their tracks. Treat it as an emergency and you would have prevented a fraud on your credit card.
- Keep the Credit Card Information to Yourself
The only time you should give information is when you initiate calls by yourself. In addition, use the number provided at the back of your card when you call for customer service. Ignore calls on the answering device as they can be those of scammers. Also, avoid returning calls on your email since its hard to ascertain whether it was a fraudster or not. If any person calls requesting your card number, immediately contact your credit card issuer for confirmation. It’s common for impostors to pose as the customer service to lure you into providing information.
- Secure your network access
Take advantage of the latest software and encryption features to secure your network. First, ensure your network is equipped with a firewall. The firewall serves to protect your computer from unauthorized access and malware activities. You can also install updates with the latest security features. Go an extra mile and use separate systems to manage your personal and business transactions in order to minimize cyber threats such as phishing.
- Stay Safe Online
Now here comes another crucial tip that may cost your credit card. Scammers use email links to collect sensitive information from your browser. Once you click on malware links, they can access your passwords and other important information. The next time you see a link similar to your credit card, delete it without a second thought. It’s easy to know scam emails as most of them contain “ exe ” at the end of the link.
- Keep track of your Card
A stolen credit card is an easy gateway for fraud. A lot can happen in minutes once you lose your card. Now how will you realize the moment your card is lost? Always make it a habit to store your card in the same place. Once it’s out of a glance, it’s easy to know all is not well.
- Monitor Your Credit Report Often
Chances are scammers have gained access to your card information and on the verge to open new accounts using your details. Checking your credit report on a regular basis will enable you to detect fraud quickly. Check with your local credit bureaus for an annual credit report.