Using a credit card is a convenient and simple means of payment, but how safe is it? We have all heard about credit cards frauds happening all too often all around us, and somehow we believe that we will not fall victim to this crime. Thus we are negligent about checking monthly statements. There are other methods that you should use as well to keep your card safe.
- Keep cards that you do not use regularly in a safe
- Be careful while shopping online
- Sign the back of your card
- Keep a track of your Credit report
- Check your credit card statements
- Be cautious at an ATM
- Be cautious whenever a cashier has taken your card to be swiped
- Protect yourself and your card from theft
Most of us own more than one credit card for various reasons. Some cards may be used less frequently and for specific purposes like travel. Thus, make an effort to keep these rarely used cards in a safe place at home so that even if you happen to lose your wallet you will not be losing all your cards at once.
Shopping online is a common affair now. Everything from groceries to jewelry can be bought online. It may seem completely harmless, but a lot of people have been duped by giving out confidential information on sites that are not safe. The first thing you should do to avoid this is to avoid websites that are not secure. The website should begin with ‘https’ and not just ‘http’. You should look out for the secured lock to be displayed either at the top or bottom right corner. A safe website will have a solid encryption software. Finally, never shop online if you are using a public computer.
As soon as you get a new credit card, make sure that you sign the back of it so that even if it is stolen, someone else cannot use the card.
Every six months or so you should check your credit reports. Make sure that no loans have been taken against your name. For this, you could check the credit reports. Checking your credit report will indicate loan enquiries made in one’s name. It will also indicate new loans being raised. Keep an eye out for lenders who have accessed your credit report to process an application. In case you see any that you don’t recognize, it could indicate fraudulent activity.
You should also keep an eye out for unknown accounts. The chances of a loan being raised in your name are high if you see an account that you don’t recognize.
The final pointer is that you should keep a look out for addresses on your credit report. There are again high chances of fraudulent activity if they are not yours.
This is an important and yet neglected aspect of credit card safety. Make it a point to spend some time each month to look through your statements as soon as you get them. Signs of fraudulent activity are if you see any debits of small amounts that you are unaware of. Also look out for any unfamiliar purchases in the statement. Don’t shrug of late bills. In case your bill arrives late, it could be a sign that there has been identity theft and this should be reported immediately. Contact your credit card issuer if this happens.
When you go to an ATM counter make sure that you are completely aware of your surroundings. There have been instances where a skimmer is attached to the ATM slot which will copy all information regarding your credit card without your knowledge. In case you suspect any such activity, make sure that you contact your credit card issuer.
Transactions should be done quickly. If a cashier takes suspiciously long time for transaction, there are chances that your card is being scanned through a skimming terminal which can collect your information. Stay alert when a cashier takes your card for transactions.
With the rising numbers of identity theft, it is always a safe bet to get yourself a theft insurance. Many insurance companies offer protection against something like this in the form of identity theft and fraudulent charges insurance. Incase there has been any fraudulent activity on your insured card, the insurance will cover the charges. Many banks provide such insurance. So all you have to do is call them up to get your card blocked as well. You will also be assisted in the process of getting a card replacement.
These are a few tips you must follow in order to keep your credit card safe.