Tips for Preventing Credit Card Fraud


Card fraud is still a common occurrence and can be devastating and time consuming to rectify.

Although UK Finance observed a 14% increase in prevented fraud for the first half of 2019, there was still a staggering £408.3 million in losses on all kinds of other unauthorised transactions (cheques, cards and remote accounts). This is reason enough for credit card users to be more knowledgeable about ways fraud can be prevented.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Secure your password and pin

The best way to secure your password and pin is by using a combination of upper- and lower- case characters, numbers, and even special characters, all while avoiding number combinations that can be easily guessed like your birthday. However, securing your pin or password goes beyond just making sure it is strong. Tips from the BBC further expounded that it also includes not writing them down or disclosing them to unsolicited emails and callers that claim to be from your bank. When entering your pin in a shop or cash machine, make it a habit to use your free hand to shield your pin from prying eyes or hidden cameras.

Choose contactless payment

contactless payment

Contactless payment is fast becoming more secure than traditional payment methods. On top of encrypted transactions, contactless cards and card readers are usually fitted with anti-fraud technology. For added security, Personal Finance says that you can buy wallets and purses that are lined with metal that blocks unauthorised contactless payments from portable card readers. Various gadgets such as mobile phones and smartwatches that employ near-field contact (NFC) technology can also be used for contactless payment. This way, you won’t have to use your card whenever you have to purchase something.

Never let your card out of your sight

When you are paying your bill and you choose to pay via credit or debit card, you’ll want to make sure that your card is swiped in front of you. Most establishments now have wireless card processors that can be brought to your table so they can swipe your card right there. However, the countertop card machine page on FIS shows how some machines still require a phone line and Ethernet cable to be able to process payments. Even though these machines generally comply with the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI-DSS), malicious employees may take down your card information while out of sight. If an establishment doesn’t have a wireless card processor, join the attendant when they go to the counter to swipe your card to ensure that nothing untoward is happening.

Managing your bills right

The first sign of fraud is unauthorised charges. So, to avoid being a victim of fraud, regularly check your monthly statement. Should you find any charge that you didn’t make, no matter how small, immediately report it to your credit card issuer. After reviewing your bill it pays to take extra precautions when disposing of it because it contains your credit card information. An article on The Balance suggests shredding them so dumpster divers won’t be able to easily get their hands on your credit card number. The same practice should also be done to credit cards that have been cancelled or have expired.

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