Nearly every business, online or otherwise uses credit cards or other virtual payment methods. All such methods, while convenient and easy to use, are in one way or another insecure to some extent. Credit card fraud has been around for ages and is something that ails everyone including banks, merchants, and end users.
However, with some caution and security measures on the part of every stakeholder involved in such transactions, such scams and fraud schemes can be curbed to a great extent. Prevention techniques to avoid scams and frauds, if used intelligently, can help avert major frauds.
Although some of the old techniques of credit card fraud are still around the block, scammers are increasingly coming up with smarter and more elaborate ways to outwit each of the parties involved in such scams.
Card theft, phishing, skimming, cloning and intercept fraud are some of the old methods used by scammers. Although scamming techniques of the modern age are a lot simpler yet more devious at the same time.
Phishing attacks have become more sinister. Fraudsters often use email accounts or phone numbers resembling different reputable banks and will fool the customers into believing that they are representing the bank. In doing so they also may give out some personal information about the person while managing to extract the rest in an attempt to confirm their details. Free and open Wifi spots are another way for scammers to obtain your personal information.
There are certain preventive measures that can help every stakeholder affected by this equation can avoid being scammed and save themselves a world of loss, both monetary or otherwise.
How to prevent credit card theft online
Be on the lookout for Scams
Credit card scams can take the form of a spam email, a misrepresentative phone call, and even seemingly legitimate text messages. Users need to beware of such scams as it is unusual for banks or reputable merchants to contact their customers directly. Even banks have now started intimating their customers through awareness campaigns that they will never ask for your passwords or personal details through email, text messages or phone calls. Always keep a check on your credit card and bank statements, at least on a monthly basis. This will help you weed out any kind of unusual or suspicious activity. If you do find any dubious transaction you should report it to your bank for them to take the appropriate action.
Update your Passwords Regularly
Banking passwords and PIN need to be protected with utmost caution and should be updated on a regular basis. Banks also keep reminding their customers to update their passwords and make sure that they are strong. It is common knowledge that the stronger passwords including characters, numbers or even unusual phrases are difficult to guess. The stronger your password is the more secure your online banking details will become.
Destroying any documents and personal documents
Any document or paper that contains your personal details including your credit/debit card numbers, social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, date of birth or even your passwords, you should discard them by shredding them properly. All such information in the hands of a scammer can lead to identity theft and credit card fraud.
Use Reliable websites and Online stores
Using websites and online stores at random can be risky and should be avoided to the greatest extent. No matter how tempted you may be to buy a bag or a shirt or jewelry that you can’t resist, make sure that you are buying it from a trusted and reputable online retailer. Even then triple check to make sure that their services are legitimate and their URL is secure. Once you are done shopping keep the confirmation email from the retailer safe with you.
Address and Identity Verification Services
While there are many precautions that end users can take on their end, they can be useless if the security and protection protocols of their banks or merchant websites are not up to par. Installing firewalls and putting up quality online security measures can play a major role in securing both the bank’s and the business’s websites. It is however equally important for them to verify the authenticity of their customers. Banks and e-commerce websites can add ID verification measures to assess whether the customers are who they claim to be. A person’s ID documents can be scanned virtually to check for any forgeries and fraud.
Moreover, a bank can require recent utility bills from their customers in order to verify their addresses. Similarly, online stores can also verify the addresses the customers provide through their utility bills and ID documents.