I have been using credit card since my college days and I remember the risk involved in using a credit card. A number of times I have been cheated, from credit card robbery to skimming. I lost thousands of rupees because of credit card theft or fraud.
Hence, I decided to pen down an article using my experience to aware people who are using credit cards.
I thought it is my responsibility to help you guys from credit card frauds.
As you know we use credit card for various purpose from online transaction to offline swapping. You need to be careful every time you pull out your credit card.
So you need to know what different types of credit card theft are and how you can protect yourself from it.
This is the most common fraud that could happen. They are of two types
Application fraud is nothing but when a crook make use of stolen or fudged documents to open an account using someone else name without any permission.
These criminals would steal documents like bank statements or your utility bills to generate their personal information.
In other words they may create a forged document.
Hacking of Account
Second is hacking of account.
Here, a hacker would hack or takeover your account by accumulating information about a person and then asking their card issuer by impersonating as if they are bonafide or genuine credit cardholder.
Then the criminal would ask to redirect the mail to a new address. Criminal will report for the credit card theft and he would ask for the new replacement to be sent to his new address.
That is how it works.
Skimming is also a common method used by criminals to steal your credit card information.
A thief would try to get your credit card information through various ways.
They would steal your credit card number by
- Taking the photocopy of your receipts and bills.
- They could use an electronic device called Skimmer to spy or swipe the credit card number of other thousands of victim like you.
- Using a small keypad for unobtrusively transcribing the 3 to 4 digit card security code not present on the magnetic strip.
So these are the ways through which a thief could steal your credit card number and take all your money.
This could happen when you are at
- When you are in restaurants or shopping somewhere.
- At petrol pump when skimmer is placed in the fuel dispenser.
- At Call centers where information is stored of thousands of credit card holders.
I have to dedicate a special paragraph to make you aware that these thefts happen often at ATMs. I am a victim of it because my credit card information was stolen from the ATM itself.
They can put a device or a skimmer at the card slot of an ATM which could read the magnetic strip when a user swipes their card in it.
They could also use spy cameras in the ATM booth to steal your credit card number when you type in.
Another method used is a keypad overlay that matches up with the buttons of the legitimate keypad below it and presses them when operated. Then it records and wirelessly sends the keylog of the PIN entered outside to the thief.
Online Credit Card Theft or Phishing
This is the modern form of credit card theft or fraud. This types of frauds are growing at a faster rate.
Here hackers roaming around the Internet would lead an online visitor to a website which looks genuine and quite authoritative.
They would claim that website is a bank or a credit card company.
The design, look and feel of the website absolutely resembles the website of an original company. They would look into small details while creating it.
Therefore entire process of keying in your credit card information looks safe. But once you click the submit button the entire credit card information falls into the criminals hand and you lose all your money.
These sites are run from countries like China, Nigeria. Criminals sitting there run such fake website to dupe you and you fell into their trap.
Card Not Present
Here the physical credit card is not used because while placing any order online you have to give the number of the credit card.
Thief could use the stolen credit cards without exposing themselves.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Such Frauds
You have to be careful in two situations.
While using physical credit card and other is without presence of credit card.
- Tip1: Use the card only on websites that has https as starting web address not http. ‘S’ is for secured.
- Tip2: See for the lock sign in the address bar or bottom of the screen.
- Tip3: If an Indian website does not ask for the authentication then do not make the transaction. Always use password a one-time password provided by your bank and the secured access password via Verified by Visa and Master secure code. Otherwise do not more forward. International sites does not ask for passwords so check their credibility before making a transaction.
- Tip4: Always check for security certificates on the payment gateways sites.
- Tip5: Make use of virtual credit card instead of real credit card. Generate the virtual credit card number after registration with bank. Your credit card limit is not exposed.
- Tip6: The most important thing to realize is keep your credit limit minimum.
Now comes the credit card theft for offline transaction. You have to be careful at certain places while you are swiping the credit card. Here the only problem is skimmer.
- Tip1: In restaurant or bar or shopping mall, do not let your credit card out of your sight. Moreover, while making transaction make sure that any electronic gadget or skimmer is not placed under the slot or the device.
- Tip2: You could also use chip and PIN based cards. It has a SIM-card like chip on the front and can be used only with 4 digit PIN.
- Tip3: Always blacken the CVV number.
- Tip4: In ATM or other places see that there are no cameras or devices installed for spying you.
- Tip5: Lastly always keep your eyes open before you take out your credit card from the wallet.
So these were certain tips that could save you from a credit card theft or fraud. First you need to know different types of credit card frauds then how you can protect yourself from it.
Read this article and start using your credit card smartly.