Hackers love the fact that many people use the Internet to carry out financial transactions of different kinds. But, unfortunately, in today’s world, your credit card data is at risk for theft. Fortunately, you can try to avoid credit card fraud by keeping your credit card information extra safe. But, unfortunately, modern-day cybercriminals are duly equipped to access the details of these credit cards somewhere along the credit card processing chain.
These unscrupulous people mostly use the data obtained to utilize the credit card balance for shopping, transferring funds, etc. Identity theft is also a common consequence of such cyberattacks. If you own a credit card, it’s high time that you take the necessary steps to prevent crooks from stealing your credit card data. The following tips might come in handy to stop such unwanted incidents.
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Avoid Credit Card Fraud
1. Don’t Allow Malware and Viruses to Enter Your System
When you browse websites that are not 100% secure or open email attachments from unknown senders, you may unknowingly download malware that would cause serious harm to you and your device.
Certain malware can log your keystrokes and know what exactly you are typing. Unfortunately, it’s not difficult for such malware to gain access to your credit card data. As a result, you may end up exposing your credit cards to hackers even if you use unencrypted networks such as public Wi-Fi.
You can stop such issues by being more vigilant when downloading updates for different software or opening email attachments. Additionally, you should always keep your personal data encrypted using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Also, only visit sites that use HTTPS.
2. Spot Skimming Attempts
Skimming is a process in which thieves use a tiny device for stealing debit or credit card data during physical transactions involving those cards. When a credit card gets swiped on a skimmer, the unit captures all the vital details stored in the card’s magnetic strip and stores it.
Data stored in the card’s magnetic stripe includes the full name of the credit card holder, the expiration date of the card, and the credit card number. Crooks use these details for making fraudulent transactions both online and offline (using counterfeit cards).
People become victims of skimming mostly when they swipe their credit cards in gas stations and ATMs. However, frauds can place skimmers on almost all kinds of credit card readers. It’s also not uncommon for crooks to place a tiny, unnoticeable camera close to the ATMs to record the PIN entered by users.
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The combination of a card reader and camera allows these unscrupulous entities to get hold of credit card details as well as PINs. So, making fake cards and then using them for withdrawing cash and making payments becomes easy jobs for them.
The only solution to this problem is remaining extra cautious whenever you swipe your card on a card reader. The designs of the skimming devices allow them to seamlessly blend with the actual card reader of the ATM or shop you are swiping your credit card at. As a result, you’ll never notice a skimming machine unless you look for it specifically.
There are a few signs that will make it easier for you to identify such devices. First, if you see that the card reader is sticking out much beyond the panel, there is a high possibility that a skimmer is waiting for you. Second, you’ll quickly spot an additional machine attached to the original card reader if you check properly.
3. Discard Your Documents Carefully
You must never throw away receipts and documents with your credit card number printed on them when organizing your home. You may end up losing enormous amounts if frauds and thieves get hold of those papers. To stop such events, you should shred such documents before sending them to the trash bin.
4. Don’t Fall Prey to Phishing Scams
People with malicious intent come up with traps for tricking people and forcing them to share their credit card details. They can do so by making phone calls, sending text messages and emails, and making users visit fake websites.
For instance, a person claiming to be a representative of your credit card issuer might call you and ask you to share some personal info. Of course, it’s okay to share your name and contact details. However, never pay heed to such calls if the person on the other side asks for your credit card number, PIN, expiry, social security number, etc. The call is just another phishing attempt.
You must remember that credit card issuers never ask clients to share their credit card data through phone calls, messages, or emails.
5. Use Your Credit Card Only to Make Purchases from Reliable Websites
If you use your credit card to buy something from a website that is not secured enough, you shouldn’t be surprised if you fall prey to data theft or identity theft. However, your chances of facing such situations will be lowered significantly if you shop only on top eCommerce platforms or web stores of top brands.
You can bring down your chances of experiencing online credit card fraud by following the above tips diligently. Also, keep the customer care number of your credit card issuer handy to ensure that you can get in touch with them promptly if you become a victim of such frauds.