Credit cards are an easier, safer, and in some ways, more rewarding option than debit cards or cash. You can swipe them around the world, enjoy discounts at special partner outlets, and avail rewards points and bonuses. However, that does not mean they are not susceptible to the occasional fraudulent charge. Here are some of the most common ways in which your credit card could fall prey to unauthorised activity, along with ways in which you can avoid them.
What are the different types of credit card fraud?
Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorised use of someone else's credit card information to make fraudulent transactions or purchases. There are various types of credit card fraud, each with its own methods and characteristics. Here are some common types:
1. Pick pocketing or physical theft
The most obvious way that your credit card could be compromised is through theft. Ensure that your card is always kept safely in your wallet and beware of pickpockets when venturing out. If you’re travelling abroad and choose to leave one or more of your cards in your hotel room, make sure they’re in a safe or locked up in your suitcase. If your credit card is stolen or lost, make sure you report the theft to your issuer as soon as you become aware of it.
2. Skimming card information
A less obvious way that your credit card could be compromised is through skimming. It is the act of stealing the card information rather than the card itself. A card can be skimmed either by swiping it through an illicit card reader or copying out the information manually. To prevent skimming, make sure you do not allow your card to be taken out of your line of sight, and don’t swipe it at unverified tellers.
Phishing is the act of personally soliciting card information from you. Many scammers pose as insurance agents or other marketers on the phone and convince you to provide your card information under the pretext of making a transaction. Ensure that all phone and web transactions are made through a legitimate portal only.
4. Carding or cyber-attacks
The most serious and damaging way your card information could be compromised is carding. Here, hackers hack into payment servers and steal thousands of accounts’ worth of information. Make it a point to opt for a credit card that takes its security seriously and offers you maximum safety.
Protecting your card against fraudulent activity isn’t difficult; it just means being aware of the various ways fraudsters may use it and making it a point to stay ahead of them. With the right information and the right credit card company, you can rest assured your money is in good hands.
How to avoid credit card fraud?
Credit card fraud has become an increasingly common problem in the digital age. While credit card companies and banks are working hard to improve their security measures and prevent fraud, there are still several steps that you can take to protect your personal information and avoid falling victim to credit card fraud. Below are some important pointers to keep in mind.
- Keep your credit card details secure: The most effective way to prevent credit card fraud is by keeping your credit card details secure. Avoid sharing your credit card number, CVV code, and other sensitive information with anyone unless you are making a transaction with a reputable source.
- Regularly check your account statements: It is important to regularly check your account statements for any unauthorised transactions. If you spot any transactions that you don't recognise, contact your bank, or credit card company immediately.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, and cybercriminals can easily intercept the data that you transmit over these networks.
- Always use secure websites: When making any online transactions, always make sure that the website is secure and has a valid SSL certificate. You should also avoid clicking on any links in emails or messages that ask you to provide your credit card details.
- Report suspicious activity immediately: If you suspect any fraudulent activity on your account, report it immediately. Most banks and credit card companies have a 24-hour helpline that you can call for any assistance.
- Get a card protection plan: Another way in which you can save yourself against financial losses due to credit card fraud, is by buying a card protection plan.
You can opt for the CPP Wallet Care plan offered through Bajaj Finance. The plan provides protection against credit card and debit card online fraud. You get complimentary fraud protection of up to Rs. 2 lakh.
Also, read: How to avoid Debit card fraud
In conclusion, credit card fraud is becoming more prevalent every day. However, by following the above guidelines, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to fraudsters. Always remember to protect your personal information and monitor your bank account statements for any suspicious activity.