Unfortunately, there are some dishonest people out there keen to get something for nothing − and credit card fraud is seen as an easy option.
While credit card providers do their utmost to protect you by using in-built chips to make it harder for fraudsters to copy personal details and using fraud management systems to identify unusual spending, they can’t catch everything. Remember what your granny used to say - prevention is better than cure.
Simple everyday practices, such keeping your PIN and card separate, covering the key pad when you’re putting your PIN number in at the shop or ATM and not giving your card to anyone, will help avoid your credit card details falling into the wrong hands.
Fraudsters will go to great lengths to get your credit card details. Here are some other ways to stay one step ahead of them.
Keep your card and details physically secure
It may seem obvious, but know where your card is and keep it secure. Treat your credit card like cash – safely tucked up in a wallet or a zipped pocket and, if you’re not going to use it, don’t take it out with you.
Shredding receipts and statements with your credit card details will make it impossible for fraudsters to get your details through paperwork and cutting up old cards along the magnetic strip and number will prevent them from cloning your old card.
Fraudsters often use emails to trap unsuspecting people into giving their details, but they aren’t always that bright. The email appears to be from a legitimate financial institution or business but many of these emails don’t actually address you personally, using ‘Dear member or user’ rather than your name. Check the email address too – do you really think a lawyer offering you sums of money from a long lost relative will use a Gmail email address?
Whenever you’re shopping online, avoid using an open or free WIFI connection. Also make sure HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://) is in the website address and look for the ‘locked padlock’ icon, either next to the website address or at the bottom of your web browser.
When you’re out and about
Cunning fraudsters have been known to take pictures or use ‘skimmer’ devices to help them clone your card. Beat them at their own game by never letting your credit card leave your sight when you’re in a shop or restaurant, and don’t use an ATM if there is glue or tape residues, or anything else which looks a bit unusual around the card reader slot.
On the phone
Some fraudsters try to obtain your credit card details by calling your home or mobile phone number. While the caller may seem friendly enough, it’s usually better to only give your credit card details if you made the call.
You can help keep the fraudsters at bay by simply being more aware of your actions. Knowing where you’ve used your card and checking your statement will also mean you’ll pick up any fraudulent use quickly.
And remember, always report any transactions you can’t account for and lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
The Coles Shield protects your Coles Credit Card with three layers of advanced defence against theft and fraud. Find out more.