How to Stay Secure and Avoid Credit Card Fraud

Despite being on the decline, identity theft and credit card fraud are still among the major sources of fraudulent activity all over the world, and affect the lives of millions of victims every year.  Within the UK, card losses have actually fallen by nearly 45 percent over the past three years to reach a 10-year low of £341 million in 2011, according to Financial Fraud Action UK. This has been attributed mostly to developments in credit card chip technology, and improved exchange of information between the credit card industry and the police.

Unfortunately, it isn’t time to relax just yet. In response to the implementation of the more advanced security technologies that have played a major part in reducing card losses, fraudsters have begun to revert back to using more simplistic tactics to obtain credit card details and access to your cash.

 

It Starts with Basics

A significant portion of credit card related scams today involve customers being tricked into handing their card details and personal identification numbers over to criminals calling them on the telephone pretending to be representatives from the bank. Some particularly bold perpetrators even go so far as impersonating the police in order to encourage victims into giving this information over more readily.

It is crucial that you remain wary of any unsolicited emails or phone calls, no matter how convincing they may sound. NEVER share your full card information or online banking details with anyone, whether in person, online or via the telephone.

As a strict matter of policy, neither your bank nor the police will ever ask you for this information, so you can be assured that any individual asking for such details is not to be trusted.

Even store branded cards are subject to fraudulent activity. For instance, if you frequently shop at Victoria’s Secret then it’s quite simple to go online and head to your victoria secret credit card login to make sure that the activity makes sense to you.

 

What’s Harder to Prevent

Of course there are still other methods that fraudsters use that you must always remain aware of when trying to avoid credit card fraud. Cases of card skimming and cloning, though declining, are still common and you should try to always make sure you know where your card is and who has access to it.

In most stores you no longer have to hand over your card when making a purchase, and you should always try and ensure that you put the card into the payment machine yourself to avoid giving the opportunity for criminals to scan the information from it.

When accessing your money via an ATM or cash machine, be sure to diligently check that the machine has not been tampered with, as small scanning devices are occasionally inserted into the card slot. Similarly, small cameras have also been known to be installed above the keypad to record you entering your pin code.

To avoid this, always cover the keypad with your hand, and don’t forget to quickly check around you that nobody is looking over your shoulder and watching as you enter your pin.

Although identity theft and credit card fraud are on the decline, it is always crucial that you remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions wherever possible to avoid becoming a victim of this potentially devastating crime.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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