With credit cards becoming a popular mode of payment in today’s digital world, the number of credit card users has risen exponentially in the last two decades. But the ease and convenience offered by credit cards are often marred by the cases of fraud reported with respect to them which to have also risen steadily. Irrespective of how often or how much you use it if you are a credit card holder, the risk of your credit card information being stolen and used illegally always exists. Unlike other frauds, credit card frauds are much more sophisticated and in most cases, it is hard to catch such fraudsters. Though, there is no foolproof method to avoid such frauds you can minimise the risk of becoming a victim to such fraudsters.
Here are some useful tips to keep you safe from credit card fraudsters:
- Keep your PIN safe: Sign your credit card as soon as you receive it and always keep your PIN information and card separate. This way you can avoid your card being misused in case your card is lost or stolen. Even though it is obligatory to sign at the back of your credit card to use it, many even today continue to use it without signing it.
- Never share your credit card details: Never share your card number and confidential information with anyone. One of the tricks used by fraudsters is calling up the cardholder as the customer service executives and asking him for his card details such as card number, PIN, and other confidential information. Such callers sound extremely professional, genuine and convincing and trick you into giving all the confidential information. However, such callers are fraud and you must not share any information with them. No employee of the bank or any financial institution can initiate a call asking for such information.
- Be cautious while making online payments: Credit card fraud is the most common when it comes to making payments online. Though life has become easier with online shopping, using your credit card details carelessly online can cost you a fortune. In order to safeguard yourself from online fraud make sure that you are very careful. Whenever you are making payments online ensure that you are using a secured website and making payment in secure mode. Many times, there are links and pop-ups that appear on your screen asking you for your credit card details. Never click on such links or pop-ups which ask you such sensitive information. No matter how real or genuine such link appears it is actually a fraudulent way of obtaining confidential information. In legal terminology, it is known as phishing. Also, you must always log out after an online transaction and if you are using a public network always clear your login id and password.
- Stay alert when your card is being swiped: Whenever you make payments through your credit card ensure that your card is swiped in front of you and you have been charged only once for that transaction.
- Check your monthly statements: Though it may sound old-fashioned you must always check your monthly credit card bill thoroughly. As the statement includes all the details regarding your transaction for the month it can help identify any unauthorized use and help you avoid potential fraud. If there is any irregularity or inconsistency you can report it to your credit card provider immediately.
- Dispose of old cards, receipts and statements properly: Do not leave your old credit card, receipts, and statements anywhere. Always tear and throw them away if you do not need them anymore.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately: In case of loss or theft of the card, immediately report it to your credit card provider to block your card and issue you a new card.
Though RBI has continuously been issuing stricter guidelines and financial institutions have continuously been revising their systems and including several security features, you can avoid being a victim to such frauds by becoming a little vigilant and incorporating these simple practices.