In just a few years, Credit card has become a essential part of our life. You may forget to carry your car keys or lunch but you can’t forget to carry your credit card in your wallet or pocket. It is must to pay all your restaurant bills, online transactions, filling fuel, paying school/college fees – the list is endless.
With the improvement in technology, we feel secure to use this plastic card anywhere. But do you know, the same technology is improving for hackers also. They’re very eager to steal your credit card information and use it.
What if you realize that some one manages to make duplicate credit card of yours and use it somewhere worth hundreds of dollars?
A shocking day of your life!
To prevent such instances, in this article, we’ll discuss how to stop credit card fraud by taking simple but effective steps.
1. Sign immediately when you get new credit card
This is the first step which you should do when you get new credit card. Just sign at the back of the credit card with permanent ink pen and let it gets dry. Verify all the details printed on new credit card like your name, Date of birth, CVV number (it’s given at the back of the card), credit card number etc.
If you’ve got new credit card in lieu of expiry of existing credit card, destroy the existing credit once you’re satisfied with the accuracy of new credit card.
2. Remove the cvv number from the back of the card
CVV number is NOT required for shopping, or for any retail transactions. It is ONLY required when you do online shopping and make payment with credit card. But it’s exposed to risk when you’re showing it to someone at the point of sale (POS). Imagine, someone, with sharp memory is looking at your card and memorizing every detail, can use all these details to make duplicate credit card or do online shopping.
3. Don’t respond to Phishing emails
Phishing is one of the common tool to get your personal, sensitive and confidential information. Hackers generally send emails to use using same design, color, font etc. which your credit card company is using to communicate with you. Even the email address seems to be exactly the same. They generally try to freak you out by stating that “your credit card is going to block” or “your credit card number has been compromised” or like this. Sometimes, they offer attractive offers like free air tickets, hotel tickets, double reward points etc. The only purpose of all such emails is to convince you somehow that the offer is best and when you click on such emails, they ask all your credit card details. Thinking that step from your bank, you might submit that info to some online form.
That’s it. You’re in BIG danger now!
They will make duplicate credit card, sell it to someone or make online transactions.
You need to move from pillar to post to convince bank that it was not you and your credit card information was hacked.
One way to stop such phishing emails is to never open any emails from Spam folder. Also, remember, your bank or credit card company NEVER asks for your personal details. They already have that in their database. If in doubt, call 24 hrs. customer care department of your bank and confirm from them.
4. Store your credit card statement in safe place
Generally, people are more busy in day-to-day life activities like in office and gets very less time for routine job of their home. One such routine job is to manage all your financial documents carefully. This includes your bank statement, insurance policy bond and their receipts, bills, mutual fund investments, stock market investments etc. One of the most important documents here your credit card statement.
Let us discuss why it is important.
Do you know your credit card statement shows your credit card number, your name, your address, your last payment made and last shopping transactions, due date etc.? Imagine you mishandles the statement and put it in your trash and some one grabs it. What else he needs to attach your credit card wallet? Your date of birth and phone number. And that’s very easy to get. Local yellow pages or little search in internet social networking sites will help him.
In a summary, your credit card statement contains very sensitive information. So, put in a safe folder as soon as you get it.
5. Do not let away credit card from your eyes
Many times it happens that in hotels or restaurants some one takes away your credit card for making payment at POS and returns back after couple of minutes with your card and the transaction slip. Do you actually know what exactly has been done with your card behind the curtains?
They might have steal your credit card information from the magnetic strip in couple of seconds.
So, be sure that all credit card transaction is proceeded in your presence and check the transaction slip carefully for date and amount before signing it. Match it with the duplicate transaction slip and retain it carefully in your records. It will act as a proof if there is discrepancy later on in your credit card statement.
6. Remember your credit card company phone number
It’s better to remember your credit card customer care department phone number. Generally, it is also given at the back of the credit card. You must save this number in your phone and email contact list. In emergency, you can get the same from local yellow pages also.
Monitor every credit card transaction carefully. Generally, credit card companies send SMS and/or email to the customer for every transaction. Do not miss such alerts. Inform your credit card company immediately for unknown transaction.
Also, inform them for change of contact details like address, phone number, email id etc.
If you lost your credit card, call them immediately and request them to block your credit card. You can get new credit card later on from the company after filling up the formalities.
7. Opt for extra security
Always choose for extra security and/or password while doing online transactions. Ask your credit card company for the link of “verified by visa / mastercard“. The link will allow you to generate extra password and you need to enter it along with your credit card details whenever you do online transactions. It can be One Time Password (OTP) and you can generate a new password, which will be send to your registered mobile phone number / email id, whenever you do any online transaction.
No doubt, the hacker can not do any online transaction with this OTP even he has all the other details of your credit card.
8. Be careful with online shopping websites
Always do your online shopping with reputed websites. Do not pay attention to some website offering cheap air tickets or hotel booking. There are many websites on net which are run by hackers just to steal your credit card information.
When entering your credit card details on net, do not forget to check for lock icon in bottom status bar or top address bar of your browser. The address of the URL should start with “https://” and NOT with “http://”. This means you are entering data in a safe and encrypted environment.
Almost all such websites allows cash on delivery option also. If possible, choose that. You don’t need to enter any credit card details in that option.
9. Use Virtual credit card
Many banks allows you to generate a new virtual credit card from your existing credit card. The new virtual credit card will be valid for 24 hrs -48 hrs. or single online transaction with the amount limit set by you. After that, it will be automatically disabled and the unused amount, if any, will be credit back to your main credit card.
That means, even if someone manages to steal your virtual credit card, your main credit card details and amount is 100% safe.
10. Photo & chip credit card
If possible, ask your company for photo credit card. No one else can use such card, at least on shopping malls. Many banks have also started “chip” based credit card. The information on such cards is stored on chip. It’s difficult to make clone of such cards.