Seasons (and pandemics) may come and go, but credit card fraud never goes out of style. Just when you thought no one’s paying attention, you’ll hear of another form of credit card fraud from your circle of friends or through social media. Hackers work hard, indeed.
And now that we’re approaching the -Ber months, expect credit card fraud cases to increase. Imagine if your rewards card from Citibank got stolen and someone else will benefit from your hard-earned rewards.
That’s why you should also work twice as hard to avoid these types of scams. Never let your guard down because even during a pandemic, hackers will find a way to take advantage. Here are some tips to keep your credit card information safe in the new normal.
Learn how to spot fraud red flags.
Say you found a good smartphone from an online selling platform that accepts credit card payments. Don’t just pay for it immediately! Study the post and watch out for these red flags.
- High-end product with an incredibly low price
- No pictures or additional details provided for the product
- Inconsistent description of the product
- Vague info on shipping and refund policies
- No contact details or social media profile
Shop only from secured websites.
By now, you should know how to spot a secured website. Google and online security providers have made improvements throughout the years so that everyone can have a more secure online experience. Take advantage of these to protect your credit card.
- Check the address bar of the online store. The URL should have a green “Secure” text and a padlock icon on the left.
- The store’s URL should start with an “https.” Sites that start with “http” are considered unsecure these days.
- Don’t click shady links from social media sites or spam emails. If the URL has too many weird letters and symbols in it, don’t ever trust it.
- A legitimate shopping site should also have a secure payment gateway. If the store leads you to a payment webpage without the green “Secure” text, padlock icon, or the “https” on its URL, then don’t key in your credit card information.
Don’t give your credit information to anyone.
A recent credit card fraud scheme involves the hacker casually asking a potential victim for their credit card’s expiry date and CVC code, hoping that they wouldn’t notice. These two details, including your full name, are sensitive information that you should never give out to anyone.
In another version of this scam, the scammer/seller will ask the buyer/victim to take a picture of their credit card as a requirement for cashless delivery. Just like it’s not advisable to lend your credit card to anyone, you shouldn’t take pictures of your credit card as well.
Watch out for offline credit card schemes.
Let’s step out of the online world for a bit. Hackers will also attempt to snatch your credit card information through offline methods. Always be aware of where you’re swiping your card.
- As an example, some establishments employ a tactic called double swiping. This involves swiping your credit card for a second time even if the first swipe has already been accepted by the card issuer. Your credit card information could be retained on the store’s own system on the second swipe, so make sure to question any attempt to double swipe.
- Ever seen a credit card representative asking passersby if they have a credit card? Watch out because some of them are fraudulent. A few victims on social media have reported interactions with a fake agent who offers freebies in exchange for one credit card swipe. Don’t let your credit card be swiped by anyone, especially in an unprotected public area.
- Some sleuths even resort to digging up trash just to get credit card credentials from thrown away billing statements. Make sure your billing statements are stored in a secure space or better yet, shred them to incomprehensible pieces.
Review your credit card billing statements.
Every month, you receive your billing statements via email or mail. Instead of ignoring it and paying whatever the amount, take time to review your transactions. You might see some purchases you never signed up for and other credit card irregularities.
In case you spot one, call your credit card provider immediately and report the inconsistency. They will help you iron out the issue, cancel the unauthorized transaction, or cancel the card altogether for a new one. Be vigilant when reviewing your statements.
Report a lost or stolen credit card immediately.
One of the worst case scenarios is that you’ll lose your credit card, either by negligence or theft. When this happens, report the incident to your credit card provider immediately. This will prevent anyone from making fraudulent payments under your name. For safety, save your credit card provider’s customer hotline on your contacts.
Even in the new normal, there’s no guarantee that hackers and scammers won’t stop stealing from you. Never let your credit card fall into the wrong hands. By being more vigilant against credit card fraud schemes, you will do your finances a huge favor.
Ricky Publico is a senior content writer at Moneymax. Save money on car insurance, credit cards, loans, and gadget protection plans when you compare and apply at www.moneymax.ph! Visit their website to know more.