26.07.2022 15:30

How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

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The world is marching forward in an unstoppable trajectory towards a cashless society. In February alone there were 1.7 billion debit or credit card transactions in the UK. Of this, 1.2 billion transactions were made by contactless payment.

This was accelerated by the Covid – 19 pandemic. It was suggested that cash transactions could spread the virus from one person to another. In response, many people switched to using a credit card only and many stores established contactless only payments.

This has also driven an upward trend toward shopping online. This peaked in February 2021 when online purchases amounted to 36.5% of all sales.

However, in order to benefit from the ease of use of online shopping and credit card transactions some things need to be sacrificed. Hard currency gives you a degree of anonymity. In contrast, online payments and credit card purchases mean every transaction can be traced back to you. Furthermore, information can be garnered from your purchases and sold for profit as customer-generated data.

Fraud is also another factor people need to consider as the world switches to digitalized money. This is especially relevant in 2022 as UK banks are at threat from Russian cyber attacks.

This means that even if you keep personal details of your bank account secure, even the bank itself could be hacked. This article will explain the best way to avoid credit card fraud. It will also give details about any alternative methods to minimize credit card fraud, and uphold personal privacy.

What are The Best Ways to Stop Credit Card Fraud?

The first layer of credit card fraud prevention lies in personal responsibility. It is paramount that you are wary of what information you share to prevent credit card fraud.

How do I Stop Credit Card Fraud by Keeping Details Private?

First and foremost a person should not give anyone any personal information that could be related to their credit card accounts. You should never reveal your pin for your credit card, or the login details for your credit card accounts.

Be vigilant about any unexpected phone calls, house visits, or emails. Many fraudsters will pretend to be representatives of your credit card provider or other authority figures.

They will do this to try and get you to reveal personal information so they can scam you. If something does not feel right, hang up, ignore the email, or shut the door, and contact your credit card company directly. A credit card issuer will never ask for your pin number.

You should also prevent your old credit card from falling into the hands of fraudsters. Instead of just throwing it away, make sure to cut it up with scissors. Make sure to cut through the chip and magnetic strip. Moreover, you should shred any bank statements before putting them in the bin. Fraudsters fish through people’s bins to find bank statements and personal information to commit credit card fraud against you. The rollout of paper-only recycle bins has made this much easier for scammers.

You should also track your post – especially if you are expecting important, revealing documents such as credit card statements. If you have not received this in the expected delivery time you should contact the company that sent this to you. You should make sure your credit card issuer has your correct address to prevent a letter from being sent to someone else. You should also be wary of what you reveal on social media as fraudsters will fish for information there as well.

Lastly do not let your credit card out of your sight as it could be stolen or copied.

How do I Stop Credit Card Fraud When I am Online?

Firstly it is best to make sure your mobile phone or computer is up to date with the latest anti-virus software. You should also make sure that you use strong passwords – using a combination of letters, capitalization, numbers, and special characters. Also, you should not use the same password for multiple accounts.

Before visiting a website you should make sure that it is both secure and legitimate. As a tip, a web address beginning with HTTPS is stronger than one starting with HTTP.

You can also check to see if a company is legitimate before visiting their site. In the UK you can use the Financial Conduct Authority register to check the legitimacy of a financial service provider. You can also use Companies House to find out information about a business.

You should also avoid using public wifi as it is not secure. Your home wifi or even your mobile phone’s data connection is more protected when internet shopping. If you happen to be using a public computer you should ensure you log out of all accounts when you are finished. Especially the accounts of card issuers.

Is There a Better Alternative to Credit Cards?

As the flaws of carrying and using a credit card are evident a new alternative has emerged. These are virtual credit cards. This helps to eliminate many of the security threats highlighted. Also, as a further bonus, they help maintain privacy.

You can use a virtual credit card to purchase goods online, and in-store, just like any credit card with the Mastercard logo.

However, these cards are not linked to your bank account and are far less traceable than standard bank-issued credit cards.

If there is a hack and data leak of payment information it cannot be traced back to your credit card. This is because your card number is converted into a token ID, which only provides enough information to process a payment. It also ensures your personal information is not sold on, as they receive no traceable details.

Additionally, you do not have to worry about losing your pin number, as it is no longer needed with a virtual credit card. Instead, payments are authorized using Mastercard 3D secure, biometric verification. This means payments use face ID or touch ID to make a credit card payment. This makes credit card fraud virtually Impossible. Therefore, you do not need to worry about stolen cards.

To make purchases in a store you can add a credit card to your digital wallet using apps like Apple Pay or Android Pay. Like all other credit cards, virtual credit cards are only offered to people who pass a credit report.

How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud: Summary

Money and methods of payment are changing rapidly alongside technology. In today’s age money is largely digitalized. 

Modernization and the growing concern about the spread of germs and viruses have made online shopping, and credit card purchases more popular than ever.

However, this brings about new concerns that physical money protected you from.

The first one is anonymity. Purchasing with cash can give you a certain degree of privacy, but using digitalized money when paying means your information is surrendered to the company you buy from. This can be sold for profit. Furthermore, there is more chance of fraud if your credit card information falls into the wrong hands. Even banks themselves are at risk of being hacked, as Russia is known to perform this practice. Banks have been warned to tighten security amidst the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

The first thing to do to stop credit card fraud is to take personal responsibility for your information. You should control and restrict the information you give out.

For example, you should not:

  • Share private information on social media
  • Give anyone login details or pin
  • Respond to fake emails, phone calls, or visits
  • Throw out old credit cards or statements without destroying them
  • Give your card provider the wrong address
  • Leave your credit card or credit card details lying around

You should also be especially wary when using your card details online.

To limit the chance of credit card fraud you should:

  • Use updated software
  • Make sure passwords are strong
  • Use a new password for each of your credit accounts
  • Make sure you only use secure websites
  • Only deal with legitimate businesses and services
  • Only use a safe internet connection – never public wifi
  • Log out of all accounts when finished

You can also protect yourself from credit card fraud using a virtual credit card. These cards ensure you are much less likely to be a victim of credit card fraud. This is because unlike most credit cards your personal information is not passed on. This has the added benefit of protecting privacy.

Furthermore, the authorization provides much better protection. This means that even if someone has your card details it is almost impossible for them to gain access to your credit.

This is because transactions are only granted after biometric verification.

This also means you do not need to worry about losing, or someone discovering your pin number.

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