How To Identify And Prevent Credit And Debit Card Scams

The rise in the number of reported credit and debit card fraud cases, has made users wary of their own financial safety. Here are some tips on identifying and preventing card fraud
 
The most common form credit/ debit card frauds are perpetrated through ATMs and card swiping machines, and is referred to as ‘skimming’.
 
A scam watch web portal by the government of Australia explains, “Card skimming, is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card. It is a more direct version of a phishing scam. The scammers try to steal your details so they can access your accounts. Once scammers have skimmed your card, they can create a fake or ‘cloned’ card with your details on it and can then run up charges on your account.”
 
The fraudster uses a small hand held device called the “skimmer” (hence, the crime is termed as skimming) and swipes your card on it, usually while you are making a payment for a purchase. In case of ATM frauds, this device is fitted into the machine. It allows them access to your all your data associated with that card, enabling them to counterfeit it.
 
Safecard.ie advices, “Your credit or debit card details can be used fraudulently, even when the card itself is safely in your care. As such it is vital to check your bank statements regularly. The sooner you spot and report any purchases that you didn’t do, the sooner the bank or financial institution that issued your card can stop the fraudster buying goods and services on your account”
 
How to identify that your card is being hacked into?
 
Apart from monitoring unidentified charges on your account, there are other a few other things that should raise your suspicion.
 
Swiping on different machines: In case you have been asked to swipe your card on more than one machine, question the procedure and speak to the store manager. Alternately, if you see the attendant swipe your card on another machine, question them again.
 
ATM fraud detection: Notice your card slot machine, by wiggling your card in it. If it appears different that usual, as in, there is more space in there than usual or it feels there might be another device attached, raise an alarm.
 
Other useful points to remember:
 
Check the ATM you use for discrepancies: Signs of tampering could be right in front of you, such as exposed wires, broken seals, loose parts. Inform the bank of this and use another ATM.
 
How to pick an ATM: Pick an ATM that has cameras fitted inside or a company-hired guard. Try and use ATMs on more crowded and commercial streets, and avoid those is remote seclude areas as they are more prone to tampering.
 
Have the card swiped in front of you: Ensure that the store attendant swipes the card in front of you. Do not allow them to take it out of your sight or to another area.
 
Dispose off old cards: Cut the expired cards and ensure the magnetic strip has been scratched. Swipe new cards immediately.
 
Keep your PINs secret: It is needless to say that you must not share your ATM and other security PINs with anybody. Don’t write it down anywhere, and ensure no one sees it when you are using the ATM or other machines.
 
What are the security measures you take to protect your self from potential financial fraud? Share your tips with us.
Credit Sudhaar is India’s first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

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Courtesy: DNA
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