Don’t be Scared About Credit Card Fraud

Nowadays, credit card fraud is no longer difficult to track. Big banks and financial institutions that offer credit cards can easily detect it. So if you are a credit card user, you don’t have anything to be afraid of. You can use your card conveniently and safely. All you need to do is to have normal diligence in keeping your pin confidential.

Check our related posts about credit card protection:

1. Reporting Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

When you spot an unauthorized credit card charge on your account, give a call to your credit card issuer using the number on the back of your credit card. If you don’t have your credit card and you haven’t saved a copy of the phone number, use a recent billing statement or the card issuer’s website to find the correct number.

Never give information to someone who calls or emails you claiming to be your credit card issuer, no matter how legitimate it seems. This is often a phishing scam that thieves use to get access to your personal or credit card information. Often the scam is to gain access to the three-digit security code on the back of your credit card or your billing zip code. Always initiate contact with your credit card issuer using a trusted phone number, e.g. from your credit card, billing statement, or the credit card issuer’s real website.

2. The non-financial personal information you reveal online is often enough for a thief.

Beware of seemingly innocent personal facts that a thief could use to steal your identity.

For example, never list your full birthdate on Facebook or any other social-networking websites. And don’t list your home address or telephone number on any website you use for personal or business reasons, including job-search sites.

3. Check your credit card accounts and change your passwords

Your best bet is to exercise caution. After you call your credit card company, make sure you check all of your other credit card accounts to see if they’ve also been compromised.

It’s important to note that, even though only one card may have suspicious charges, you can’t be sure how the fraudster got the information. So make sure you change all of your passwords and PINs just to be safe.

4. Protect yourself online

Online shopping is more popular than ever, which means it’s more important than ever to protect your information online. Try to shop at established businesses that you can contact easily if there’s an issue. Look for sites with https: in their web addresses—the “s” stands for secured. Even if you’re on a secured site, don’t share your information unless you have to and you know how it will be used. Make sure you check policies on payment, refunds, returns and shipping. Finally, be sure to keep copies of any confirmation codes or receipts

5. Don’t Sign Blank Credit Card Receipts

Always verify the amount on your credit card receipt before signing it. If you get a credit card receipt that has blank spaces in it, write $0 in those spaces or draw through them before putting your signature on the card. Otherwise, the cashier could write in an amount and send the purchase to your credit card issuer.

6. Be careful about whom you give your information to

 While it’s more common to fall victim to identity theft by a stranger, many fraud cases are considered “familiar fraud,” which means the victim knew the perpetrator. It’s always a good idea to avoid giving out your credit card information or Social Security number, even to trusted family members and friends.

7.  Check your credit history regularly

An idea to keep track of your credit history is to get a free copy of your credit score. This will alert you to any attempts to apply for credit in your name.

8. Watch out for suspicious email accounts.

Some email addresses can be a dead giveaway tipping you off you’ve received a fraudulent order, says Chou. Always check the email address used when placing that order. Does it read something like [email protected]? If so, it’s a red flag.

9. Run a system check and virus scan on your computer

If you do most of your internet banking on your home computer then it’s important to protect your computer against viruses and spyware. Here at Westpac, we offer a free system check and virus scan as part of Westpac Security Tools to help you maintain your online protection. Viruses and spyware can infiltrate your computer via general web browsing and downloading infected files; however, installing virus protection software will help guard your computer.

10. Use Different Cards For Auto-pay VS. Everyday Spending

Consider designating one of your credit cards to be used only for autopay accounts, such as wireless phone bills and website subscriptions. Then don’t use that card for anything else. That way, this just-for-bills credit card is not in the wild being processed by retail clerks and restaurant servers, or being swiped through gas station pump readers. Use other payment cards for everyday spending.

This technique won’t prevent fraud on your everyday spending card, but if one of the cards is breached, at least you won’t have the hassle of changing your autopay accounts and potentially incurring a late-payment fee.

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