Credit cards are easy to use and give amazing gifts, but always have security issues. Credit card fraud has skyrocketed in the past decade because hackers and thieves found new ways. The good news, there are many ways to protect yourself.
Unlike in the movies, credit card fraud is not done by high-tech hackers. In fact, almost all fraud is caused by negligence, such as leaving an unlocked smartphone or mentioning the card number via cellphone.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
Always watch your credit card
Never leave your credit card unattended in the hands of others. Thieves only need a fraction of a second to swipe your card in the scanner (a device that copies your card’s digital details, so they can use it). Or, if you leave it for a few minutes, they can use the old-fashioned method by recording the card number, expiration date, and 3-digit security – this is enough for the thief to make transactions with your card.
In a restaurant or shop, always make sure you are there when your card is swiped. Don’t let the waiter or sales assistant take your card when you don’t see it, then return it later.
If you forget to put the card, immediately contact the bank and ask them to freeze your card. The bank can reactivate later if you find your card. But, don’t wait for hours. If not, the thief may have shopped happily with your card.
Never give out your credit card information to anyone
The most common way to steal credit cards is through an HP scam. For example, you might receive a call that claims you won a new tablet (even though you don’t remember joining the contest). They only need your credit card number to pay a small shipping fee (a few dollars). If you read your number, there won’t be any prizes, just sudden expenses on your credit card.
Suspect whatever company is calling and asking for your credit card number. Companies usually don’t handle transactions like this – generally, fraudsters point you to a website, where you are asked to type in your card number. If you’re not sure, just hang up the phone.
Set a credit card payment warning
Make sure your credit card alert feature is always active. This feature will send an SMS to you when a credit card transaction occurs. If you get this warning when you don’t use a card, immediately contact the bank and ask them to freeze your card.
In addition, parents should activate this feature if they allow children to play games on a smartphone / tablet. Some games have in-app purchases. And, you definitely don’t want your six-year-old son to spend $ 2,000 on virtual farm animals.
Dispose of your credit card properly
When you want to renew your credit card, discard your old credit card in the right way. Don’t throw all the same credit card pieces into one trash bin (persistent thieves can combine the pieces together and get your card number).
A faster way is to burn credit cards. But, be careful not to burn other items (other than that, plastic burning smoke can make the room smell).