How to protect yourself from credit card fraud


Unfortunately, with people increasingly swiping cards for groceries, movie and plane tickets, chances of their being misused are much higher.

Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says 12,959 cases of fraud were reported from various banks last year, accounting for a loss of Rs 365.4 million. Chances of fraud increase if the customer has more than one card.

“Surveys and research have suggested that the number of customers carrying more than two plastics is rapidly increasing,” Card Protection Plan (CPP), India Chief Executive Officer Gagan Maini said. Carrying more than one credit card can also be tiresome –— it’s difficult to remember bank account details for one card, let alone two.

There is no doubt the market for credit cards is growing fast. And they do come in handy while travelling abroad –— it’s really convenient to pay your bills that way than carry cash or traveller’s cheques. But misplacing credit cards while on an important business trip abroad can be a hassle.

“The risks of losing one’s payment cards abroad is real today,” Standard Charted Bank General Manager and Head (credit cards & personal loans) R L  Prasad said.
 
If you do become a victim of credit card fraud, take the following steps immediately:
n Contact your bank/credit card company, close your account or get it blocked.
n Place a fraud alert on your file and report the issue in detail and don’t forget to take the complaint number, name of the agent you are speaking to and time of the call for enquiry purposes.

n File a police report if asked by the bank’s credit card fraud department. Normally, you don’t really worry about your credit card payments till you get the monthly statement or a phone call from a customer care executive. It’s a tedious process. “It’s hard to keep track of information and to hold the phone till someone says ‘hello’ and that too when it’s not even your fault,” says Shakun Chandra, a school teacher who fell victim to credit card fraud.

As per the RBI norms, banks and non-banking companies should set up internal control systems to combat fraud and be proactive on taking fraud control measures. A smart way to deal with fraud is to take a credit card protection plan.  The plan is part of the UK-based CPP Group Plc which operates internationally via offices in countries like the US and Germany. CPP can be a convenient way to deal with all your credit card problems in India and abroad. The subscriber can call up a 24-hour toll free number to report the loss or theft of the card. CPP can then help you deal with banks and get your card blocked. “The cardholder is thus not inconvenienced in this distress scenario of calling all issuing banks separately - they just need to call one number, the CPP helpline,” says Maini. In India, four banks –— Citibank, Standard Chartered, HSBC and Kotak Mahindra Bank –— offer CPP services. Cardholders of these banks can avail the facilities directly while customers of non-registered banks may need to contact CPP by themselves. You can avail of several plans under CPP but do keep an eye on the fine print. “The partner agreement signed by a bank and CPP should contain necessary confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses to protect personal details provided by the bank to CPP,” says Prasad. One number to block all cards —– CPP’s 24 -hour helpline helps cancel the cards which have been reported as lost.  Emergency travel and hotel assistance —– If your cards go missing while staying at a hotel abroad, CPP will arrange payment to the hotel and arrange tickets for your trip home. Important document registration - In case your passport gets lost or stolen on a trip abroad, CPP can help you with necessary contact details for the Indian embassies or high commissions. Financial/Non-financial cards - With CPP, there is no cap on the number of cards protected — the cardholder can choose to register financial and non-financial cards as well as other valuable documents such as driving license, passport, PAN and financial certificates.

If you need to make a claim, do remember to include all the relevant documents, including any original receipts. All claims must be sent within 28 days from the date of reporting card loss.

The cards are also protected from fraudulent use arising out of card loss. The member must call CPP within 24 hours of discovering the loss. Protection begins seven days prior to the loss report and extends to any period after it.

CPP conforms to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). The insurance cover built into the plan protects the member from fraudulent use arising out of card loss.

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