Almost all working Malaysians own a credit card. This demographic size allows scammers and frauds to thrive. People experience credit card fraud frequently these days as everything can be obtained online. Moving into the cyber world, we find loopholes for those who take advantage of people’s gullibility.
But as users, we must take precautions to avoid credit card fraud and be vigilant in our credit card use. There are two main types of credit card fraud: card-not-present frauds and cards-present-fraud.
As the name suggests, card-not-present frauds happen without the physical presence of the card. This happens when the fraudster uses the individual’s details to obtain financial information through emails or suspicious text messages.
Card-present frauds happen when a swindler swipes a customer’s credit card onto a device that stores the information for a higher purchase. The fraudster may have access to the customer’s pin number and may use it later for another purchase.
To avoid these problems, here are a few tips for you.
Be Extra Careful When Using Your Credit Card Online
Now that online transactions are fast becoming the norm, we tend to be quick with our credit cards. Sometimes we find emails and text messages asking for our personal emails. Often, the senders of these emails are disguised our local bank. But never ever give your details in email or text message form.
Also, take extra precautions not to use a public Wi-Fi or a public computer such as in a cyber-cafe, library, or airport lounge computer. Public unsecured Wi-Fi networks store and access information used by each login. Online credit card transactions can be easily tracked. Use a VPN to keep your network from prying eyes.
Don’t Use Easy Passwords and Credit Card Login Info
Most of us have multiple online accounts, so this should come as a no-brainier. But many of us still use passwords and login information that is easy to remember. We use our birthday, our wedding date, or our car number plate as passwords to our email, online logins, and sometimes even online bank accounts. This makes it easy for scammers and fraudsters to gain access to your accounts.
Imagine looking at your bank account with zero balance one day only because someone hacked it. To avoid this, scramble your passwords with unfamiliar numbers and letters. Memorize them and change passwords often to deter online hackers. Do the same for your credit card.
Keep Track of Your Payments
You may believe that having one credit card is the safest way to curb excessive spending. But often we may not accurately keep track of the payments made on that credit card. Particularly if there are multiple transactions on one day, we may find it hard to know which payment has been made.
This may distract you from unpermitted transactions by hackers or scammers using your credit card for card-not-present frauds. The smarter way to avoid this would be to have at least two credit cards, each for designated use. One for groceries, fuel, and monthly necessities. The other for one-off transactions such as plane tickets, travelling bookings etc. This way, if there is one credit card with unlawful transactions, you only must cancel one.
Use Trusted Online Services
The easiest and safest way to use your credit card online is to use one of the apps on your mobile smartphone. Apple Pay or Android Pay are two options that allow for safe and secure transactions. You will still need to observe the other steps above, but you can rest assured knowing that most of the online stores affiliated with these services are legit.
Follow these steps and you can protect yourself from credit card fraud and the threat of scammers.