You work hard for your money, so it’s important to keep them safe. One smart way to guarantee the security of your money is to be careful with your credit and debit cards. Learn six easy ways to prevent credit card fraud:
1. Keep an eye on your credit card
Fortunately, most retailers and service providers are safe places to use their card. However, there are bad places in the world. Remember to always keep an eye on your credit card when you pay for services. If your card is out of sight, it gives dishonest people an opportunity to copy your credit card details and the security code on the back of the card.
Remember not to sign a blank receipt. In places where tips can be entered, you can drag a line over that part if you do not want any extra charge made on your card.
2. Watch out for devices that skim on ATMs
Devices for skimming, and more recently, shimming, can be installed on ATMs or payment machines to copy your card details. To avoid skimmers, check if the keypad or slot is loose or looks different or bulky. Small cameras are also installed to see when customers enter their PINs. If there is a camera facing the keypad – be careful. Using your hand as protection when you enter your PIN is a good habit in general.
Shimmers are a bit trickier as there may be no evidence of manipulation. These more advanced models of skimmers are installed inside the card slot and are usually not easy to see. To protect yourself, pay at gas stations whenever possible and avoid stand-alone ATMs, especially in remote areas.
3. Consider other payment options
When you receive a new credit card, you must write your signature on the back immediately. That way, you do not have to leave an “unwritten sheet” that someone else can sign if the card disappears or is stolen. You may also consider leaving your credit cards at home when they are not needed.
Payment methods with near-field communication can in some cases be more secure than short. The technology means that payment apps such as Apple Pay and Android Pay cannot be skimmed as physical cards.
4. Keep track of your accounts and your card activity
Remember to always keep your eyes open for suspicious cartoons or transactions you don’t remember. Some just check their accounts or their card business sometimes, usually when it’s time for payments. But if you check regularly, you are more likely to discover something suspicious early on.
When something unusual has happened, you can contact your credit card company or bank directly and ask what to do. Often there are special numbers to call in these cases. Have these emergency numbers available so you know what to do if problems arise.
5. Watch out for phishing
Deceivers of their best to turn on when you are not on your guard. Is there any better way than pretending to represent a serious organization and asking for important information? If you do not expect to be contacted by the company, be careful.
For example, if you get a phone call where someone asks you for personal information, you can ask the person for their name, department and phone number. It is a step to confirm that the call is genuine. If they hesitate to give you that information or do not want you to call them back then there is probably a problem.
And it’s always a warning signal if someone asks you to enter your credit card number over the phone or via text message (especially if you were not the one who made contact). Banks never call and ask for your credit card number or PIN. If they ask for that information, it is usually when you call and need to enter information to confirm your identity.
6. Use common sense when shopping online
The first rule is simple: Shop only from websites and online stores you trust. Then your credit card information is more likely to be secure. And you should not shop from websites that are not secure. You can see this by saying “https” at the beginning of the URL (instead of just http), and a lock appears in the browser.
The second rule is to keep your computer safe with virus and malware software. The more a wicked person can find out about you, the more harm they can do. Think carefully before publishing any personal information online that is not needed, and do not click on suspicious links.