All You Need to Know About Credit Card Fraud and How You Can Avoid Being Victim
Imagine getting a message from your bank about a transaction which you did not authorize. The mere mention of it sends a chill down our spine. In this day and age, where we have technology at our disposal to help us in our regular lives, thieves are having a field day because catching cyber criminals is not as easy, although Hollywood would have you believing otherwise.
Having your identity stolen is the worst thing possible to happen to a person, as the stolen identity can be used anywhere. Credit card fraud is a term used when someone steals your credit card or uses its details, without using the card physically, to make unauthorized transactions from your bank account. These fraud acts are becoming more common and here’s what you can do about it:
Keep the plastics safe
First thing’s first, keeping your card safe can spare you a lot of trouble. Leaving it out in the open can increase the risk of it being stolen. You should always carry your card with you in your purse, since it is difficult for a thief to pick a smaller purse, and even alert you if it is being flicked. Always keeping it in your palm or tuck it back safely in your purse after you’ve removed it to make a transaction, so that the thieves cannot take photos of the card and hence they’ll not be able to use the details. If you have multiple credit cards, use only one at a time.
Shredder is the place for billing statements
When you get your billing statement, usually what people do is take a quick glance on it and toss it away sideways. Anyone who has access to your desk at work or even your home can steal the information printed on statement such as card number and other important information. Always destroy your billing statements as soon as you are done with them. Shredding them or tearing them apart or tossing them away in a dumpster can lessen the chances of your information being stolen.
Keep A Close Tab
Always review your statements every month even if it proves to be a tedious task. By doing that you can ensure that every purchase was authorized by you and if there is any discrepancy, it would be caught at the earliest, no matter how small it is. Sometimes, thieves take small amounts of money to mask the theft and people sometime can be ignorant about it, leading them to believe that nobody is paying notice.
Calls and Emails Are Fake, ALWAYS!
Bank or credit card companies never call or email asking you your card details such as name, PIN number or other significant details. Such calls are made by cyber criminals so without obtaining your card they can use your details to make a transaction. If you get such calls or emails, you should report it as soon as possible. Sometimes, your bank website homepage can also be hacked, and it may look exactly like the original homepage but it can be a scam. Never click on a link that was forwarded in an email, always visit your bank’s website manually.
So even after taking care of all these things, if you become a victim of credit card fraud, here’s what you should do:
Credit Card Company to Your Rescue
Report it to your credit card company the moment you realize that your card has been stolen. Nowadays, many companies have policies that include zero-liability for any fraudulent activity. That means, if you report the theft after an unauthorized transaction has been done, you’ll be only liable for up to $50 for fraudulent credit card charges. If you report it before casting out any transaction, there will be no liabilities for you.
Time to Change the Passwords
The moment you lose your card, first thing you should do is change all your PINs and account passwords. By doing that even if someone has possession of your card, they’ll not be able to access your account and make any kind of transactions. That means that your hard-earned money will be safe in the account, though there’ll be some necessary formalities for issuing a new card but that’s the bare minimum that you need to do.
Police Is with You
Another important thing you should do after reporting fraud/theft to your bank is filing a complaint with the police. Sometimes the stolen card can be used in illegal activities and having reported it in time, you may save yourself a lot of stress.
All in all, using technology for convenience is not the problem, but abiding by the guidelines and taking preventive measures can save us from trouble.
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