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How can I protect myself when making a credit card transaction?

With the growing credit card acceptance, online frauds are also rising. Online card processing has become a simple affair, thanks to the advancements in the electronic commerce and payment gateway systems. However, no system can be foolproof for a long time. Spammers and hackers can dupe you during a credit card processing. The question is- how to protect yourself while making an online payment?

Types of credit card frauds

A credit card fraud can be classified as counterfeit fraud or skimming, lost or stolen cards, identity fraud, postal interceptions and Cashpoint fraud. Skimming refers to the fraudulent act of copying the credit card data from its magnetic strip and then placing the data onto another card. This can happen at credit card machines, hotels and even petrol bunks. Identity fraud Sometimes, due to carelessness, people forget their credit cards at shops. Your bank statement or utility bill can be misused by cheats to extract your personal information. This constitutes of identity fraud. Postal interceptions Postal interceptions refer to the situation whereby your credit card does not reach you through the post. Criminals tamper with the cashpoint machines at stores to rob you of your money, using your credit card.

Protect yourself

The best thing you can do is to keep your card with you all the time. It is better to keep your credit card in a zipped wallet or any other safe place. The PIN is a confidential number. Hence, you should not share it with others. Do not write your PIN. Instead, memorise it. Go through your bank statement carefully. You should also keep track of your credit card transactions.
Updating your credit card information At hotels and bars, the waiters will often ask you for your credit card to pay the bills. You should tell the waiter to bring the card terminal to your table. The credit card information should be updated whenever you change your contact details, address etc.

Shop smartly

While shopping, you should carefully watch the person swiping your credit card. Very often, fraudulent people, posing as agents from banks or credit card companies, call credit card holders and ask them for their personal details. You should never give your personal information to such people. Fraudulent emails should also be handled carefully. You should never give your private information (bank details, credit card number, credit card PIN and other details) to anyone, neither on phone nor through email.

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