Do you know that your credit card numbers can be stolen? They can be used online & offline putting you in trouble. In the UAE and also the globe, credit cards are being target for an online fraud on a daily basis. Credit card frauds happen in many different ways. Criminal or hackers use the latest technology to scam people. In this article, we will be discussing the most common types or methods of credit card frauds:
- Stolen Cards: This is the first and most common credit card fraud today. People do not notice for a brief period that their card has been stolen. These stolen cards are usable until and unless you call up the credit card company or provider to block your credit card.
- Calls & SMS: Hackers & criminals use many ways to steal your personal information about the credit card. Criminals use the service of text-messaging to scam customers. Fraudsters also use calling facilities to collect your banking information to use it against you and commit credit card fraud crime.
- Phishing Emails: Credit card fraudsters use vishing & phishing methods which are very common using the internet. Phishing emails are a very simple and usual practice for the fraudsters. They send you emails posing as a reputed finance organization, bank or credit card provider company. This is used so that you reveal your personal information which includes your credit card number and passwords. Once you do this, it is very easy for them to use your information and pose as the owners of the credit cards. Vishing is also similar to the method of phishing but instead of emails, it is done by using mobile phones using web-links sent to you smartphone.
- Filling Fraud Applications: This type of fraud is done at the time of processing your application. Fake or stolen information is used to open an account which is on your name. Fraudsters use your phone bills, electricity bills and bank statements to open an account in your name.
- Point of Sale or Merchant Fraud/Card Skimming: This fraud is basically done when you swipe or use your credit card at the point of sale or at a store. This is one of the simplest and effective forms of credit card fraud. This happens at a store or at the point of sale aka POS. In this fraud, the electronic machine is used to skim the data of your credit card when you swipe it at the store. Deceitful merchants or employees at the store help the thieves to steal your credit card information & details.
How to save yourself from such frauds also known as Identity Theft?
Credit card frauds are also known as identity thefts which can be used to steal information from your cards. This info can be then used to make online & offline transactions. The stealing or frauds can be done in the above given methods. The best advice is to keep your cards and details safe in a secure place. Do not answer any ‘private number ‘calls or unknown numbers. Also always delete the emails that you seem to find fishy or unknown especially which ask for your credit card details for verification. Here are some safety precautions you can take to keep yourself & your information safe:
- Update Your Anti-Virus Software: The first thing to do to save yourself from an online fraud is to keep your anti-virus software updated on your computer as well as your smartphone. The updated software will help you protect yourself from fraud whenever you use net-banking or do your shopping online. Always make sure you buy licensed anti-virus software. There are many fake and suspicious software programs that deceit and pose as real software so they can steal your information. Many anti-virus software offer extra features which you should invest as they gives you added protection.
- Stay Away From Suspicious Websites: Do not enter your credit card details on a website which you feel is not secure. You can do this by checking if the security certificate in the ‘top-left corner’ of your URL. If there is a small lock icon or if you want to know if the website is secure, look for a “https://’ at the begging of your URL. The small ‘s’ in ‘https’ means that there are some security additions and also means a reduction of online fraud. You should also be informed about websites that do not let you use secure payment procedures. Always check for customer reviews online before you use a website for transactions.
- Have Doubts About Unusual Messages: Although we have talked about this already but remember, hackers and thieves can portray as real companies. If you get a text message and an email that looks from an official of a banking website which is asking you to click on a specific link or anywhere on the email, then it is best to just delete it right away.
- Review Your Banking Statements Thoroughly: If your card has been used by someone else, it is best to check your bank statement immediately. This goes for all your account in different banks as well. You will easily notice a suspicious activity which might have gotten skipped by your bank’s detection technology and then make sure it does not happen again.
- Keep Track of Your Credit Report: If you apply too many times from your credit card and get rejected a lot, it hampers your credit score. If someone is applying in your name or stacking up your debts, check your credit report and you’ll know about it. You can always contact a credit reporting bureau and also have them investigate about it.
- Keep Your Important Documents Safe: Make sure you receive your documents in the mail unopened. Do not throw them away and if you do, then dispose them completely so that they aren’t usable again. Credit card frauds are done by accessing your information, and if the fraudsters find your information on documents, then they can do a lot using that information. Try to keep them safe as it won’t hurt you.