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3-min read

7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Credit Card Safe

Thieves sometimes place skimmers at ATM machines at Petrol Pump Station card readers or now even in restaurant/supermarket swipe machines.

Updated:March 28, 2019, 1:50 PM IST
7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Credit Card Safe
Thieves sometimes place skimmers at ATM machines at Petrol Pump Station card readers or now even in restaurant/supermarket swipe machines.

Follow these simple steps to stop credit card theft from happening to you.

As technology expands and e-commerce becomes the preferred way of spending money, the possibility of you falling prey to Credit Card (CC) fraud grows exponentially.

Here are some simple ways to keep your credit card safe:

1. Check For Card Skimmers

Thieves sometimes place skimmers at ATM machines at Petrol Pump Station card readers or now even in restaurant/supermarket swipe machines. These readers capture your information, which can then be used for all sorts of illegal activities. How do you avoid them? Use your eyes to look more carefully, fingers to see if touch pads look / feel loose, avoid accessing ATM’s in remote locations, cover the keypad with your hand when inserting your password and soon even get smartphone apps to help you detect rogue machines. More importantly, trust your senses - if something seems odd, either use another machine or pay with a phone wallet or cash.

2. Tighten Password Protection

It might seem a bit obvious, but creating a strong password and not sharing it with anyone is one of the most basic things you can do to protect yourself. Avoid have the same pin across various cards and online services and remember to pick random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters. Yes, that means no birthdays, anniversaries or pets names. Always take your privacy seriously and never share your bank-related details/passwords, One Time Password (OTP), ATM pins or CVV numbers with anyone.

3. Report Fraud Immediately

If you suddenly realise there are several questionable charges (even miniscule ones) - it’s possible your card or its details have been stolen. But whether your card is misplaced or your numbers stolen, report it as soon as you spot it and have the bank lock down your CC immediately.

4. Review Your Statements

One of the easiest ways to keep an eye on your CC, is to closely review your monthly statements and check for strange transactions that you are not likely to have made. If you do find any, call your bank immediately for clarification and assistance.

5. Keep Your Cards Close

The easiest way to avoid credit card theft is by keeping your cards close on your person when travelling. Never carry all your cards at the same time and don’t leave your card exposed for any longer than you need to - smartphones can now take and send clear pictures very quickly that can be used for several fraudulent activities.

But perhaps, the simplest thing to do is to always double check that you actually have your card with you before leaving a shop or restaurant where you’ve used it.

6. Protect Your Privacy

Besides always being aware of where you are using your card from, never toss billing statements, scraps of paper with your full CC number on it, or expired/cancelled cards. Mitigate any threat by always shredding and disposing sections in different places if possible.

Also avoid signing CC receipts with any blank sections. Write down ‘0/-’ in empty spaces or strike them out before you sign or risk having someone sneak in an amount that you will end up paying for.

7. Watch For Online Scams

New and devious online scams pop up every day. Never enter sensitive login or personal information unless the site is secure. Make certain by checking for ‘https://’ and lock symbol at the beginning of the address.

When it comes to email, protect your CC from fraud by never clicking email links that seem like they are from your bank or CC company, even if they seem legitimate. Go directly to the official site and complete any transactions from there to avoid being victimised by phishing scams that trick you into entering your private information on a fake websites.

Use and update your anti-virus software, be wary of clicking on pop-ups, use firewalls whenever possible and keep your browser updated. Even if you are super cautious, it's never a fool proof plan. But if your CC is ever compromised, remember to act fast as much of fraud prevention also means limiting the damage in case of an unforeseen event.

To know more, click here.

This content has been created in association with YONO SBI.

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