Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is an issue which concerns us all and yet most of us don't know much about what to do if it happens to us, or how to reduce the chances of it happening. Unfortunately, it does happen, and it can happen with any kind of card that you have be it a cashback credit card or a store card
Credit Card Security and Debit Card Security
There are certain things that we can be more aware of and which will make our credit and debit card transactions less concerning and much safer.
For online transactions we can set in place extra debit and credit card fraud protection which is provided by Mastercard and Visa, these are called Mastercard Secure and Verified by Visa and are basically an additional security measure to help with fraud prevention which you must complete when you proceed to the online check out. They have a password which you choose and so, if for example you have your credit or debit card stolen and someone tries to use it on line, then although they have the security code on the back of your card it is very unlikely that they will know your Mastercard Secure or Verified by Visa password. The only disadvantage with this is not all retailers have the facility in place for Mastercard Secure and Verified by Visa but more retailers are making this facility available and so hopefully very soon this should be in place with all retailers.
Another online shopping tip is to always use a secure site, you can tell if a site is secure by checked the padlock symbol is displayed when you go to the checkout, and that the web address starts with https and not just http
When using cash machines what other tips are there to keep you safe?
Another problem which has occurred with card transactions is that because of chip and pin being installed in the UK, fraudsters have taken to getting your card details, making false cards to use your cards abroad as chip and pin has not yet been introduced in many other countries.
Due to this many card holders have asked if their cards could be restricted from being used abroad. This is something that you can discuss with your card provider, though not all are able to action this.
This has lead to another problem in that card providers have become more vigilant with card use abroad and some people have had difficulties in actually using their own cards abroad. As a general rule to assist with the detection of fraud when using a card abroad the retailer would be asked to contact the card provider to confirm that it is actually you using the card, by asking some security questions, but not all retailers can be bothered with this and will sometimes just decline your card.
A way to avoid this is to contact your card provider before you travel to let them know where you are going and the dates you will be there or to take the customer service contact number with you so you can contact them yourself make sure you take the overseas customer service number though.
When you receive your Credit and Debit card statements immediately check if all the items that appear are indeed yours, if so then shred your statement so that it cannot be found in your rubbish and the details used.
If you receive a call from someone who says that they are from your bank or credit card provider and they start to ask details about you credit or debit card, or ask you for full password details hang up. Your bank or credit card provider would never ask you for yur full password or for your PIN number, but to be sure you can always ring them directly and tell them about the call you have received they should then be able to put your mind at rest that you did indeed do the right thing in hanging up.
When paying for goods in store, always put your card into the pad available if possible, but if the machine is still a swipe machine, then watch how many times it is actually swiped as there was a scam where cards were being double swiped, the first was a copy and the second was for the transaction you were making. Try to ensure that you can see your card at all times. If you are in a restaurant, and the chip and pin pad cannot be brought to your table, go with the waiter to make your payment, do not let them take it away. If ever you are in any doubt, contact your card provider and tell them your concerns, often they will place a fraud watch on your card or even cancel and send you a new one to be on the safe side.
Credit and Debit Card Fraud Insurance
Much of the costs of credit and debit card fraud is picked up by the card providers, but sometimes a small excess amount is charged and the stress and inconvenience of having your cards stopped along with waiting for the monies to be credited back to your account can really make for a very bad experience.
There are companies which will provide credit and debit card theft protection, (this often does cover all cards in your household) sometimes this can be purchased directly from the card provider, though as with any policy your must check the terms and conditions as it may be that the protection offered does not fully cover the credit limit of your card which could leave you partly liable.
Extra Card Fraud Tips and Information
If you are worried about credit and debit card fraud look at what policies are available and also what is included with your home contents insurance as well as being careful to keep your credit card in a safe place.
Eastern Europe Credit Card Fraud
There have been episodes of Credit Card Fraud in Eastern Europe, which you would not think all that likely being as we now have "chip and pin". Well think again, it turns out that people are actually watching tourists as they use cash machines and making a log of their pin number, that person is then pick pocketed or has their handbag snatched so that their cards can be used with your chip and pin. This is not only inconvenient but it is also a real fraud issue to which we would not normally be aware. It has also been found that 1 in 3 people use the same pin number for all their cards and so if they have more than one card in their wallet or purse all would be tested with that particular pin number.
Add the additional security when making online purchases and be careful not to click on links within emails which do not look as if they are from a reputable source. This type of email could contain Trojans which can read the data you input into your pc, including card, security details and even security passwords. Beware though as Trojans could be hidden in a number of ways on the internet and could be released when you click on a title of a news report disguised as a reputable media tabloid. Once again, your bank would never send you an email and ask you to follow a link. If you are unsure whether an email is genuine, simply ring the bank and ask for confirmation, or better still, go directly to the banks website rather than clicking on links. ANy genuine information would be given or gathered on the site without the need to follow links in emails.
There are many other risks though which you could be subjected to such as Trojans, Phishing and unknowingly being a Money Mule.
If you are in doubt about an Email, Phone Call or think that someone may have obtained your card details contact your card providers immediately and email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Bank Safe website.