Credit Card Fraud is one of the top most problems of Digitial transactions, and if you aren’t very careful, the cheesy limits you get from the bank will end up taking a lot more from you pocket. In this post, we are talking about tips and tools to safeguard your credit, Afterall it’s your money, and you need to be careful about it.
I have personally seen many enthusiasts using their cards with least concern. Somehow, many of us end up thinking that it’s a safe world, and when you go to a jazzy place, your card remains secure. So here is my list of warnings for them.
1. Where are you using it?
Looks are deceiving. No matter where you want to use your card, give a bit of thought if using at that place is safe enough. What kind of crowd have you around? How popular is this place? Do you see many actually using it? Be Smart.
2. Are you swiping the card urself or at least looking at it when it is swiped?
When paying bills, the amount is usually entered into the machine by the billing department. They even swipe it for you and ask you to enter the amount. Make sure you see the value that has been input before you enter the passcode. Always request a receipt.
3. Is your CVV number still on the card?
When it comes to an online transaction, you need to enter your CVV number which is on the rear of the card. Make sure to either note down or remember it, and then erase it off the card using a marker. Just in case if somebody makes a copy of your Card Number, without the CVV number, online transactions are not possible. This is something which is mostly overseen.
4. Don’t share Credit Card details over anything including SMS, Phone or on paper
No matter how reliable the person is, never share your CC details with anybody. He/She may not intentionally do any harm, but if they are lethargic with the details, you will be in trouble.
5. Carry your Cards Safely
Make sure you keep your cards safely when they are in your pockets. It’s always a good idea to keep cards separate from your wallet, as a matter of fact, I even keep my cash distributed.
Enable Security & Update from your Bank
1. Enable SMS or Text service from the bank
It’s an excellent idea to get a text from the bank for the smallest transaction made through your card. These messages are not only instant, they work without the internet. This comes in handy to connect with bank instantly if you feel it was a fraud transaction. I have it enabled for my Debit card as well. Some banks might charge a nominal fee monthly/quarterly or annually, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
2. Setup Upper Limit for your Credit Card
Many a time banks offer higher credit limit but not all of us end up using it all the time. I had declined offers like these many a time, but if you have a higher limit on your CC, it is best to setup upper limit for your credit card. You might have to call the bank or use Net Banking. This measure makes sure that nobody is able to use a significant amount without your consent.
3. Virtual Credit Cards
Many banks offer you to create a virtual credit card on top of the actual one. I have used it few places where I wasn’t sure of using my real card or even when I needed to share my CC with a family member. You can have an upper limit set for the transaction and can be deleted later on.
4. Enable NetSafe Visa Service (2FA)
It’s mandatory. Once enabled, it will complete the transaction only when you enter a password or OTP which is sent to your registered mobile number. It takes only a few seconds of yours, so don’t get lazy about it. In few countries like India, this is mandatory, but even otherwise make sure you have the 2-factor authentication enabled for your credit cards.
5. Check every transaction when statement arrives
We only get alarmed when there is a sudden spike in our Credit Card bill. What if somebody has your CC details, and is making small transaction every month, only to strike a big one later. Those ignored small transactions give frauds an idea that you aren’t really concerned about it.
Make it a habit to check for every transaction made, even if its a small one.
6. Let banks call in for high-value transactions
One of the best way to instantly cancel a fraud transaction is to let bank call you for any high-value transaction. I have been using this for over five years, and I have been called even when I made a purchase.
7. Enable Bank SMS services when on International Roaming
Once I had traveled abroad, and I did not receive any SMS for my transactions. This concerned me a lot, but since I was traveling I could not do much. Later I realized that you need to get this enabled through your operator. I had to call my bank, and then to my operator to get this pass through.
The service might be chargeable, but it’s crucial that you have it enabled.
8. Did your Bank Actually call you?
Many a time I get a call from Bank for offers. I had calls from the bank for transaction confirmations as well. There is one thing common when a call comes actually from a bank, they don’t ask for any details including your card number. They will NEVER do it, and this is how you detect if somebody is impersonating as Bank.
Things to take care when paying Online
1. Use Digital Wallets
In my opinion, it is always a good idea to use wallets instead of using your card directly. You can not only keep money in these wallets, but they also hide your actual data. Most of the wallets will remember your credit card details, but they will never remember your CVV number. You will have to enter it for adding money or transactions manually.
2. HTTPS and Secure Connection
This is one of the oldest tips, but still most relevant. Make sure any online transaction you make, the page where you enter all details has HTTPS in the start. Look at the address bar, and you will know.
3. Do you let third party site remember details of your credit card?
This is a tough choice to make here, but the idea is not to let every site you use remember your card details except for the ones you trust most. Personally, I never let anyone save my credit card details, but it’s left to your trust factor.
Things to take care when paying Offline
1. Always ask for a receipt and keep it safe
While we may think it’s not very important because we do get the SMS, but I would strongly suggest you take a receipt. A physical evidence matters a lot, and that combined with SMS will make your case stronger when needed. Also, make sure to have to keep a scan of the bill as the ink on them tend to disappear with time.
2. Sign the rear of the Credit Card
While I don’t see this taken very seriously in India, but you might be asked for a signature verification when you pay for your bill. Still wondering where to put your signature? It’s in the rear of the card. On a different note, I thought I could skip it, but once I was asked to verify with my ID card, and then I was ultimately made to sign as it was compulsory. So yeah do it.
3. Report it as soon as it got stolen
If, for any unfortunate reason, you lose your card, call your bank immediately, especially if you have your CVV on it. The banks make sure to decline any further transactions, and they do have protection policy to recover the money back.