Online credit card fraud has become more prevalent over the last decade due to an increase in online transactions and the digitisation of payments on most platforms. Being aware of some of the common fraudulent activities associated with credit cards can help prevent you from falling victim to one.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud involves illegally accessing someone’s financial accounts. It can happen either by physically stealing the card or virtually through the online bank account.
Here are some of the most common scams used to steal credit card information:
- Skimming – It is a method in which cyber criminals capture and steal the personal information of a cardholder
- Dumpster diving – This technique is used to retrieve information from the deleted (trash bin) items of a user’s mail/devices
- Hacking – Refers to the misuse of a smartphone/tablet/computer to breach the security of another device to steal data, corrupt files or systems, or cause damage to its data in any way
- Phishing – It is the practice of sending fraudulent communications to acquire personal information under the disguise of a trustworthy or reputable source
- Email Spoofing – Refers to a kind of attack where an untrustworthy or unknown form of communication is disguised as a legitimate source
- Card Duplication – It is a type of credit card theft in which a fraudster creates a copy of a legitimate user’s credit card and misuses it
What are the Ways to Prevent or Monitor Credit Card Fraud?
Most people notice a discrepancy in their spending amount and the amount generated on credit card bills only when they receive their monthly credit card statement. Although the government enacts cyber offence penalties, including fines, jail time, or both, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are some of the effective ways to prevent or monitor credit card fraudulent activities at an early stage:
- Reviewing credit card statements and bank accounts
A simple and easy way to detect credit card fraud is by regularly checking your credit card statements and online bank accounts. It is necessary to set up transaction alerts on your phone or email when you use your credit card. Not only will these detect fraud in time, but they will also keep track of unnecessary spending. Additionally, saving your purchase bills can help you reconcile them later with your credit card statements to detect any strange activity.
- Avoid storing credit card information
To prevent your credit card information from falling into the wrong hands, ensure that you don’t write it down or store it anywhere. Remember to responsibly destroy any bills or receipts you have and discard expired and cancelled credit cards in the right manner. Also, avoid signing on blank papers or receipts randomly.
- Not sharing personal information
Credit card details contain sensitive and confidential information about the cardholder and should definitely not be shared over phone or even via text. There have been several instances where scammers pretend to be customer service representatives asking for credit card details, OTPs, etc., with the motive of hacking into personal accounts.
- Using strong passwords and PINs
Best practices should include using strong passwords right from your emails to net banking accounts. A strong password includes special characters, capitals, lowercases, and even numbers. It is also important that all passwords are changed regularly. The same rule applies to card PINs to protect account information.
- Contacting issuing bank immediately
If you find or suspect any unusual transactions on your credit card statement contact your bank immediately. Block your card instantly if it’s lost or stolen. Most banks have a 24/7 customer care or toll-free number where you can reach out to them instantly.
There is no denying that credit cards have made our lives so much more convenient, but sadly this convenience also exposes us to the big bad world of scams and fraud. Cautiously following the above methods of monitoring may significantly reduce the chances of credit card fraud while letting you enjoy its multiple benefits & offers.