Wise ways to Prevent Credit Card Thefts

Some fraudsters try to steal your details and create a clone of your Card to make unauthorised transactions

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Published: Nov 10, 2020 01:28:03 PM IST
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 01:51:44 PM IST

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When it comes to making convenient transactions and upgrading your lifestyle, there is perhaps no other product that works as well as a Credit Card. They have especially gained prominence in the era of e-commerce and online purchases shooting up. While there is no question about the clear advantages of using a Credit Card, there are also certain risks that come with its use. The risk increases if you fail to be vigilant as your Credit Card may become susceptible to fraudulent transactions. With the recent uptick in the usage of Credit Cards, cases of fraud have also risen.

While banks take adequate measures to safeguard customers against fraudsters, the responsibility of ensuring safety ultimately lies with the users themselves. Stay aware of the various tricks employed by fraudsters and learn how to avoid falling prey to them in this article.

Common Tricks by Fraudsters

Scam artists keep devising new ways of making unauthorised transactions. However, there are some common tricks they employ to dupe unsuspecting users.

Phishing

This is one of the most common techniques that fraudsters use to obtain a person’s Credit Card details. Typically, they will create a fake website that looks identical to the official website of the Issuing Bank. They will then send an email saying there has been a problem with your Credit Card. Once you click on the link, it takes you to the fake website where you are asked to fill your Credit Card details. You can imagine the financial catastrophe you can suffer once your credentials are in the hands of fraudsters.

Cloning

Some fraudsters try to steal your details and create a clone of your Card to make unauthorised transactions. They do this by using a device called a skimmer, which is strategically placed in an ATM kiosk. When you use your Card to withdraw cash from the machine, it copies and stores your Credit Card details. Another variation of this fraud is carried out using a scanning device at a point of sale terminal.

Vishing

This is a type of phishing trick (a combination of ‘voice’ and ‘phishing’) where con artists call you pretending to be an employee of your Bank or a higher authority like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). They then try to deceive you into revealing sensitive Credit Card information over the phone.

Swap fraud

The fraudsters call your mobile operator claiming to be you, using details they obtained either from phishing or vishing. Once they’ve convinced the operator it is indeed you, they ask for a duplicate SIM card citing the loss of the original SIM card. They will then use the duplicate SIM to generate an OTP to make unauthorised transactions from your Credit Card.

Identity theft

This is the use of your identity to make transactions. The fraudsters use details they stole either through phishing, vishing or cloning to withdraw money through your Credit Card.

How To Stay Safe

Now that you know of some common tricks used by con artists, here’s what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of Credit Card fraud -

  • Complete every transaction – Make sure you always complete your Credit Card transactions whether in an ATM, a shop or on your phone. Do not hand over your Card to anyone and ensure it is used in your presence.
  • Keep your CVV private – Do not share your CVV number with anyone, as it can authorise them to complete transactions with your Card.
  • Report stolen card – In case, your Credit Card is stolen, report it to the authorities immediately and inform your Bank executives so they can quickly deactivate it.
  • Monitor your account – Keep an eye on your account and report any suspicious transactions.
  • Disposal of sensitive documents – Make sure you correctly dispose off any documents containing your Credit Card details, such as those received from the Issuing Bank.
  • Use secure websites – Look for “https” on the website URL before making any transactions. Fake websites will not be secure and will thus not have this sign.
The Bottom Line

Always be wary of fraudsters and handle your Credit Card information responsibly. If you take proper precautions when using your card, whether online or offline, you will stay safe from frauds and thefts.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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