How to prevent credit card frauds

How to prevent credit card frauds

A credit card offers the convenience of making purchases big or small without cash and pay for them later.

A credit card offers the convenience of making purchases big or small without cash and pay for them later.

Having upgraded to EMV safety feature, you may be relieved of any credit card frauds. But, there is a reason to be worried if the card information is stolen or compromised. It can be misused for making online transactions. Hence it is important to know how you can strengthen your safety layer to prevent such frauds.

Setting limits to prevent frauds

Setting self-imposed limits can be beneficial in two ways. First, you can control your urge to spend more, and secondly you can avert a potential credit card fraud. 

Each credit card comes with a specified credit limit which the card issuer allocates based on your credit eligibility. To keep your spending under check, you can set your personal credit limit lower than the available credit limit.

After setting your personal credit limit, you will be able to use only what you have set and will be alerted by the card issuer when you get closer to the limit or exceed it. This personalised credit limit can be modified according to the situation. Some cards let you set different limits for each category like international usage, online shopping, dining etc. or allow the primary cardholders to set sub limit on the add-on cards as well.

This feature also helps certainly prevent a credit card fraud. Those with intention to dupe you will not be able to make a purchase more than the set limit.

Strong password 

The great Indian digital push has resulted in the number of online transactions go up steeply. If we were to take the data from the RBI, in January 2018 alone India made 1.1 billion transactions. It is most likely that you will be making an online transaction any time soon and you should be prepared for it. A strong password with the combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Moreover, use different passwords for each account, change it periodically, check if you are in a secure environment (both online and offline) and most importantly do not share your password with anyone.  

At a POS terminus, pay extra attention while using the credit card as the card number could be stolen or photographed by fraudsters. Do not share any details of your credit card on social media as it is a vulnerable platform for information theft. 

Patterns to look out for to prevent credit card fraud:

  • Suspicious spending: Many of the cardholders opt for auto-debit option to pay the credit card bill on-time. While this is a good thing to do, the user may not notice what was spent last month using the credit card. There have been instances of small amounts being taken away from your credit card account without your knowledge. Hence, it is advisable to regularly monitor your credit card transaction and raise it with the card issuers if you see any discrepancies.  
  • Skimming: Certain electronic devices are employed by fraudsters for skimming which steals your credit card information. A fake credit card can be created encoding the information obtained from the skimmer. Beware of such devices and if you see something unusual in the card slot, alert the officials. Protect your credit card by upgrading to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) which have shown to be better prepared against fraudulent activities across the globe.  
  • Phishing: The word phishing was coined in 1996 when hackers started to ‘fish’ around for financial information on the Internet. Methods such as calling under the guise of bank officials to steal your card information, CVV number are routinely reported in the media.  The only way to guard against phishing is to not divulge any detail about your credit card and OTP to anyone or through emails. 
  • Safety measures: From the ancients we know that it is better to be prepared and prevent misfortune rather than repent later. The same holds true for financial instruments such as a credit card. Although it has become the most convenient tool for making payment and it rewards the user with discounts and offers on every purchase, the card is not without its flaws and has potential for fraud. If you have taken enough safety measures, you can relax and enjoy comfortable cashless transactions on your favourite credit card. 

(The writer is co-founder and CEO of CreditMantri)

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