Credit Card Safety
Having access to thousands of pounds in our pocket is a safety net we can all appreciate. However, when you start to consider the vulnerability of that amount of money to modern day credit card fraud and scams, it begins to feel like a bit of a liability.
Due to improved safety features such as chip and PIN and better online security for shoppers, credit card fraud hit an all-time low of £341 million in 2011, according to the UK Card Association. Figures rose slightly in 2012 to £388 million, but this is still a way off the peak back in 2008 of £610 million UK wide.
With banks, online stores, cash-point operators and card companies doing all they can to improve the safety of our credit cards, it is down to us to do our bit to keep our credit where it should be. Here are some tips on keeping your card safe in 2013 that we can all learn something from.
Credit Card Safety – Keep your information private
Sign your card as soon as you receive it, and never keep your PIN number with your card. Keep your account number to yourself, and never give out your details to anyone, no matter how convincing they are. Nobody needs to know your PIN number but you, ever.
The UK Card Association reports that during 2012 there was a huge rise in crude credit card scams, where cardholders were convinced to part with their cards or their details by fraudsters. This type of activity can happen in restaurants, at cash-points and even over the phone, so remember to never give out any of your details and to be careful of who is standing behind you.
Credit Card Safety – Destroy all sensitive documents
Things like credit card statements, receipts and letters from the bank can contain critical information that could put you at risk. With the rise in recycling, fraudsters are finding it easier than ever to get their hands on this type of information as people throw it away.
You can help to prevent fraud and protect your credit card by investing in a cheap desktop shredder and ensuring you shred all documents that have any of your personal details on them before you send that paper to the recycling pile.
Credit Card Safety – Be security aware when shopping online
Advances in technology have made online shopping a safe and convenient process for the most part. However, the UK Card Association reports that losses on Card-Not-Present transactions (those conducted online and over the telephone) rose by 11 per cent in 2012, showing that you still need to be aware when shopping online and to make sure you are on an authentic website.
Credit Card Safety – Never click buttons in emails
The UK Card Association statistics showed that online banking fraud rose 12 per cent to £39.6m from £35.4m in 2011, and that they predicted this rise to continue in 2012. A large proportion of these losses come from users clicking through links or buttons in ‘phishing’ emails, which trick them into giving away their personal information.
Emails from your bank, from PayPal or any other financial provider will always address you by name, and will never ask you for your PIN or other sensitive information. If you are in any doubt, navigate to the providers website yourself rather than using the links in the email, or simply call them.
Credit Card Safety – Check your account often
With the majority of credit cards and bank accounts now easy to access through the internet, there is no excuse for not checking your account from time to time. Spotting strange transactions, large purchases or overseas activity early can help to prevent major losses and increase the likelihood of the fraudsters being caught.