While the internet has brought incredible advantages to the finance industry, such as the emergence of credit card online banking portals and instant fund transfers, it has also introduced a brand new variety of digital scammers. As conventional banking shifts its focus to digital platforms, cardholders now have to ready themselves for new and unheard fraud practices.
But even before the world wide web allowed customers to apply for credit cards online and access account statements from the very palm of their hand, credit card scamming was widely prevalent in the form of physical theft and card skimming. Here are some ways to stay protected against scamming attempts as seen in credit card online banking and physical banking alike.
Physical Credit Card Fraud
In the unfortunate event that a credit card is stolen or misplaced, it is the cardholder’s sole responsibility to inform the bank of the loss. Stolen credit cards may be used to rack up charges and extinguish the available credit limit. Fortunately credit card online security features have helped reduce the time it takes to respond to such situations and block the stolen card.
Owners of a lost or stolen credit card are required to immediately contact the bank and appropriate police authorities. Once the misplaced card has been reported, the bank will suspend all spending on the card and clear the cardholder against liability for charges made on the card. Customers who apply for a credit card online or in a branch should also refer to the appropriate policy documents for details on the charges associated with replacement card issuing.
Prevention: A good way to prevent such fraud is to regularly analyze credit card online statements for suspicious activity.
In card skimming scams, the customer’s credit card details are stolen during transactions via means of an information capturing device, also known as a card skimmer. As card skimming operations involve a physical device, transactions that are made by a credit card online are safe from the fraud.
Card skimmers are most commonly seen in untrustworthy ATM machines. Card skimming devices may be installed in the form of a card reader slot or even an ATM number pad. Customers should always check the ATM for any hidden devices and extra parts before making use of it. What’s most frightening about this fraud is that once the card information falls into the wrong hands, the guilty party can make purchases without having the card in their possession. Regular credit card online statement checks can help identify such fraudulent charges early on.
Prevention: The best way to avoid card skimming frauds is by checking credit card online statements regularly, and by keeping the credit card in a line of sight during store transactions.
Phishing & Unsecured Connections
Phishing attacks are the most commonly seen type of online credit card fraud. It carried out by creating a fake page or link to a third party site, where the credit card details are saved when the cardholder attempts to make a transaction. The sites and links are purposely designed to seem identical to the original merchant/bank site. From pages that ask the customer to apply for a credit card online to emails that ask a person to update their account information, phishing attacks have grown incredibly sophisticated.
Similarly internet scams often also incorporate unsecured Wi-Fi connections. These networks usually require no password, allowing anyone to join, while recording all of the user’s personal details, passwords, credit card online login details and more.
Prevention: Customers should never apply for a credit card online through third party links. They should do so from the card issuer’s original website only. Another safe banking method is to always look for the secure sign on a web page’s address bar (generally displayed on the top left as a lock symbol). Webpages that do not use HTTPS encryption protocols (denoted by the ‘https://’ sign in front of the website address) will not have a secure sign and are not authentic credit card online platforms. Additionally credit card online login passwords should never be shared and should be updated frequently.
While credit card phone banking isn’t as popular as credit card online banking, there still exists a huge phone scamming problem till this date. Scammers will often call unsuspecting victims pretending to be bank officials and ask for card details in order to ‘update their records’.
Prevention: It is important to remember that bank officials will never ask a customer for their credit card details over the phone. But unlike credit card online banking where a password is all that’s required, phone banking generally requires customers to confirm partial card information, such as the last four digits of the credit card. Recently, many banking institutions have also adopted automated voice recognition machines, which are computerized systems that customers can share their card details securely.
Over to You
In summation, cardholders should never share their credit card online login information and only use trustworthy sites to apply for a credit card online. Stay informed and stay protected.