Beena had clicked on a linked sent on her email by her bank. She followed all the instructions properly and made a small payment as the email stated that her credit card was being verified and the detail submission and small payment were necessary. She paid INR 50, but in just an hour, her account was wiped clean of INR 3 lakhs. Stunned and shocked beyond belief, she called her bank who informed her no such mail had been sent from their end. Distraught, she understood she had been the victim of an online credit card fraud.
Ways to protect yourself from online credit card frauds
Beena’s case is not a stand-out case. Sadly, such cases are reported regularly and many unsuspecting people fall prey to such fraudsters. If you want to stay protected against such frauds follow these tips:
- Never open suspicious emails: Your bank or credit card provider will never ask you for payments via email. Even if they do, the link they send will direct you to the financial institution’s official website where you have to log in with your registered ID and password. If the email asks you to go to an external website and provide your credit card details, ignore it right away. If you follow such instructions, in all probability, you will fall victim to an online credit card fraud.
- Don’t reply to unverified text messages: Have you received a text message stating you won a large jackpot? Did the message ask for your credit card number so that the money could be transferred? If yes, then delete the message right away and block the number! This is a very common type of online credit card fraud that you can stay away from. Insanely large amounts of money can never be won over text messages, right?
- Only use secured websites when making payments: Whether you are paying your mobile phone bill or you are shopping for a pair of sunglasses, any credit card transaction should only happen on secured web portals. Always look for the “https://” component at the beginning of the web address. This apart, look for a small lock icon next to the web address on your browser. If you find either of the two missing, do not use your credit card on that website.
- Activate credit card notifications: Speak to your credit card provider and get the notifications activated for all your credit card transactions. So every time your card is swiped or used online, you get an instant text message. This way, even if a fraudulent transaction does take place, you can act fast and prevent getting into a difficult situation.
- Keep your card safe when using offline: Anyone who knows your credit card number and CVV number may be able to manipulate and use your card online for their own benefit. So when you use your card offline, keep it safe. Do not leave it unattended on a shop’s cash counter or even send it unaccompanied to be swiped. Anyone can note down the numbers and then use it later on. Be careful and keep your card close by at all times.
- Cancel cards you don’t use: If you have stopped using a particular credit card (or even a debit card for that matter), inform your provider and get it canceled. Don’t just keep it lying and forget about it. You may not even know of a fraud and then it will be too late to report. So cancel the cards you no longer use and be aware of what you have and use regularly.
So as you can clearly see from the points mentioned above, online credit card frauds can easily be avoided. These days, banks and NBFCs that issue credit cards offer multiple layers of security to the users. The rest is left to you. if you exercise some caution and make logical moves online, the credit card fraud chances would significantly diminish. A credit card is an extremely handy financial product that most of us use to great benefit. You can also do so and keep it safe by following the simple tips mentioned in this article.