It is a long lasting debate whether Internet is a curse or a blessing. Although, there are a lot of advantages of having an internet connection but like a real world it’s also seeped in malice and deceit. Internet is a scary place, especially when we talk about financial scams that have been rising everyday with digitization of monetary transactions. The phishers remain alert to trick you into telling them the sensitive information about your credit cards, bank accounts, investments and more so that they can use the information to their advantage and dupe you of your hard earned money.
Credit card scam is one such activity that has seen significant rise in the last decade with more people moving on to plastic money for day to day transactions. No matter how secured the processes are there are people who find a way to get into the system and make people fall prey of their fraudulent activity.
However, taking some precautions can help you to avoid getting caught in the web of credit card scam. Given below are a few tips to safeguard your card’s information while making online purchases-
Use your credit card on trusted websites only
Double-check the website on which you’re making the credit card transaction to make sure whether it is from the real merchant or not. Some sites which are poorly designed and outdated should be treated with suspicion. There are sites that seem shady, such sites should be avoided. It is advisable to thoroughly check the domain name as the name of the fake sites differs from one character only in most cases. Never enter logins, passwords, banking credentials, or any other personal information on the site unless you are sure of its authenticity. You can usually trust big names like Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
Avoid clicking on email links, particularly in unsolicited emails, because these links could take you to a fake website that looks like a realistic website that’s set up for the sole purpose of stealing your credit card information. Instead of clicking the link it’s better to type the address yourself to avoid landing on a fake website owned by the spammers.
Avoid credit card purchases at public places
One should never use public computers and networks to make online transactions. Login credentials are often saved at public computers which increases the risk of fraudulent activities. Even after logging out, it is possible that your keystrokes are recorded by the hackers.
Hackers set up a free wifi that doesn’t require a password so that you’re on the same wifi signal. This way, snagging your information while it’s being transmitted becomes easy. It’s better to do the credit card purchasing over a secure network as sensitive personal information like credit card information, personal data, etc. cannot be stolen by anyone. Wifi connections at public places like airport, cyber café, coffee shop and other public places aren’t secure and should be avoided to make credit card related transactions.
Use credit card instead of debit card
Credit cards provide more protection against fraudulent activities than debit cards. Debit cards don’t provide the same level of protection and prevention from fraud. How will you get your money back with debit card or credit card fraud is the main concern to emphasize on. When a fraudulent transaction takes place with a credit card, you don’t lose money. You just have to report the fraud and get a credit on your statement and your bank account will not be affected with the issue. But with the debit card your bank will be affected from the moment fraudulent activity takes place. The fraudster will keep on withdrawing the money till the date cardholder reports the issue to the bank. Therefore, there’s a probability of losing more money in the case of debit card frauds. The RBI has laid down certain guidelines to automatically protect the credit card users against the credit card scam.
Keep an eye on your credit card statements
Every time you use your credit card, a live record of that transaction is maintained with the bank making it easier for them to trace and recover your valuable money at the time of fraud. You should regularly monitor your credit card statements to detect any fraudulent and unauthorized transactions. If you notice anything amiss and suspicious, immediately contact the issuer. Also make sure your statement doesn’t contain any error or any unusual fee. If you spot any unusual fee in your statement contact the issuer to remove the false amount and don’t forget to check that the money has been reimbursed.
Don’t save your credit card information on the website
Though it seems convenient to save your information in your browser or online, but it is better to remain inconvenient than compromising the security of your credit card. Sure, you don’t want the credit card skimmers to know your personal information. Whenever you make a purchase from a website the site is likely to give you the option if it should remember your information automatically for the future purchases, you should be simply clicking “NO”.
Other than the above mentioned tips there are few more things to follow while using a credit card like keeping your antivirus up to date, enabling the one time password option for your credit card to add the extra layer of security and checking your browser settings to avoid it storing your personal information and credit card details. Keeping in mind these simple credit card tips will surely save you from becoming a victim of credit card fraud.