Credit Cards – Some Tips to Keep Them Safe

Credit Cards – Some Tips to Keep Them Safe

Credit Cards : The use of credit cards in our lives has been widespread for many years now. Sadly, the more numerous the available cards have become and the more frequent their use, the more ways have the conmen, tricksters and out and out fraudsters discovered to compromise the security of the card to their financial advantage. There are, however, several protective measures that you can take to try to ensure that you do not fall victim so one kind of credit card fraud or another.

It may seem too obvious to mention but the single most important step that you can take is to keep your card safe! Make sure that you know where it is, that you do not leave it unattended when in a public place or in your home if you do not have complete trust in your guests. Try to keep it in a card holder, which, because it is bulkier, is less likely to be dropped, lost or misplaced. Never keep your PIN (Personal Identification Number) in the same place as your credit card. If they are lost at the same time, a thief can gain access to your credit card with consummate ease.

Secondly, you should remember that, with your charge card monthly statement or even your credit card stubs, a fraudster can obtain sufficient information about you to clone your identity and make use of your credit card for nefarious purposes. You should always dispose of this paper evidence of your credit card information securely, either by burning or shredding. Never just put it into the waste bin, as you never know who might come across it. The development of Chip and Pin technology has, it is true to say, significantly aided the fight against these types of fraud, although many countries have not yet embraced that technology and a market exists in the export of fraudulently copied or stolen cards to non-compliant countries.

Another form of credit card fraud that can be avoided is cloning of your card through a process that is commonly known as skimming. When you pay at a restaurant or bar or even at a filling station, your card can be swept through a piece of electronic equipment that can enable the conman to duplicate your card and then use it to build up massive indebtedness. Because your card has never actually disappeared, it can take some time before you even become aware that this has happened. One way of avoiding this practice is to ask that the card remain with you and that the payment terminal be brought to you. Alternatively, you can insist on keeping the card in your sight at all times until it is physically returned to you. This is particularly relevant where your are unfamiliar with the establishment and, even more so, when you are out of your own country.

Credit Cards Online credit card fraud has also developed apace over recent years. It is more difficult for your card details to be ascertained, as a result of the increased security afforded by secure socket layer encryption (SSL) If you cannot see the telltale letter ‘s’ following the ‘http’ in a websites address in your browser bar, then you should not provide your credit card details. Many of the card providers also have their own security measure, such as Verified by Visa, to provide additional security. However, one means by which people are still being scammed is through the process known as phishing.

This involves the credit card holder being contacted by email, with a request that he provides credit card information – often under the guise of the discovery of a security threat against his card! These emails can be professional and can look extremely authentic. However, if the recipient bears in mind at all times that no reputable credit card company or bank would ever ask for such information by email, this scam can be easily avoided. The same should be said, incidentally, for telephone requests to provide this type of information.

Finally, if you are unfortunate enough to fall prey to some of the practices set out above, please ensure that you notify your card supplier as soon as you become aware of it. Not only will this allow your card to be cancelled and any fraudulent use put to an end, it will also limit your own liability for loss sustained as a result of the fraudulent misuse of your card.