Tips on Card Fraud Prevention
Know the Dangers
It is a lot easier to protect yourself from card frauds if you know how and where they are most likely to happen. Most payment cards are contaminated by:
Skimming. This type of card fraud happens during a seemingly legitimate transaction, for example when paying for goods or service at a restaurant or withdrawing money from a cash machine. By putting your card into an electronic device before making the transaction (by a unscrupulous employee) and skimming your card at a cash machine, criminals obtain your card details which allows them to use them for their own purchases and transactions.
Phishing. Many criminals obtain card details from cardholders themselves by tricking them into revealing sensitive information. Usually, the criminals pretend to be bank staff or the police, asking for card details such as passwords, PINs, account numbers, etc. for “security reasons”.
Pharming. Not everything is what it seems on the world wide web. There have been cases of fraudulent websites pretending to be legitimate websites of banks and card companies with an aim to gather card details from the holders.
Virtual break-ins. Websites that don’t have adequate security can leak sensitive information and make their users vulnerable to card frauds.
Card not present. Sometimes a discarded receipt or bank statement is enough for the criminals to obtain all the information needed to make purchases at someone else’s expense.
Responsible Card Use and Handling
As a cardholder, you can dramatically reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud by following these simple measures:
- Never write down your PIN, passwords and other card details.
- Never disclose your card details to anyone, including your bank staff.
- Destroy all documents including receipts that contain information about your card or account.
- Enter PIN at the cash machine or store by shielding it with the other hand.
- Never let your card out of sight when making a transaction.
- Shop at secure online stores.
- Re-enter your card details for each purchase rather than storing the information.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date security software.
- Shop online from your personal computer.
- Enter your online account by typing the address into the browser.
- Check your bank statements at a regular basis to make sure all transactions were made by you.