Credit card safety is so under rated. Credit card companies talk about it on their websites. Advertisements and marketing campaigns are built around it. But, despite all this, we take Credit Card safety for granted. We rather focus on our physical safety than for our financial safety. We remember to switch off the cooking gas cylinder or wear seatbelts while driving, but don’t mind shopping on anonymous websites or leaving our credit cards strewn unguarded.
Almost all of our salaried borrowers, who are currently cycling an online personal loan with Loan Singh, possess credit cards. Being prompt with Credit Card payments is a different responsibility. Another one is of being alert towards Credit Card fraud. Technology is making our lives more convenient and comfortable. For e.g. you can now apply for an online personal loan from Loan Singh. Even if we are careful, there is no guarantee that we will remain immune to credit card fraud or credit card theft. Being credit card safe is a habit. That is why, we educate and re-educate our blog readers about Credit Card safety practices.
Credit Card fraud
Credit Card fraud can be done in a number of ways. We mention some of the most common ones.
- If stolen, your card can be misused.
- When your discarded credit card statement gets retrieved from the garbage dump and the card information is used for identity theft
- When your net-banking website gets hacked and all of your login information falls into the hands (or in this case hard drives) of fraudsters
- When a dishonest waiter/cashier takes a picture of your credit card (when you offer to pay) in discreet and passes it on to a fraudster who could clone it.
- Telemarketing scam – Here fraudsters call you asking for your Credit Card information on the pretext of offering you a discounted travel package
- Skimmers are devices placed near a card swiping machine to read your card’s magnetic strip and grab your card details. The details are duplicated onto another card.
- Phishing – This involves phony emails being sent to your inbox claiming to be an institution asking for your card information. This way, you voluntarily give the fraudsters your information.
Credit Card safety tips
There are multiple ways for a fraud to happen, but these generic tips can at most keep you alert and prepared towards credit card theft, loss or fraud.
- Sign your Credit Card upon receiving it from the credit card company
- Don’t forget to collect your payment receipt at a POS terminal
- Remember where you store your Credit Card
- Make it a point to keep checking your wallet or card holder
- Know until when your Credit Card is valid
- Do not give your Credit Card number to anyone over the phone or in an email
- Try to carry your Credit Card separately so that in case your wallet is robbed or lost, you will at least have your cards intact
- Always remember to collect your Credit Card after getting it swiped and before walking away
- Keep your Credit Card statements and receipts for maintaining routine checks
- Don’t let your Credit Card be lying around exposed; a picture taken of the card is enough to get your details copied
- Once receiving a new Credit Card, sign it immediately. This will reduce the possibility of someone superimposing their signature on it in case stolen or lost
- Subscribe to mobile and email alerts for your credit card. The alerts can help you to be aware of any unauthorized transactions and expenses
- Review your monthly Credit Card In case, if you notice anything unusual, you should report it within 30-60 days of receiving the statement
- Inform the card issuer of a change in personal information such as number, email, address, etc.
- While using your credit card online, do so only on secured websites (ones starting with ‘https://’)
- Don’t store your password on portals where you use your Credit Card for payments
- Use string passwords with a combination of upper case, lower case, special characters and numbers
- Don’t share your netbanking customer ID and password with anyone
- Don’t click on email links sent from fraudsters pretending to be from banks or Credit Card companies
- Apply for a Virtual Credit Card for habitual online payments
- Check if the online shopping portals, you browse on, have safe digital certificates from standard authentication service providers such as VeriSign
- Look out for a confirmation payment email, or SMS, so that you know the money you just paid has reached the merchant
Credit Card protection plan
Almost all credit card issuing companies provide a Card Protection Plan (CPP). It is a membership plan where you need to insure your credit card with a single premium payment. There are 3 plans to choose from – Classic, Premium and Platinum. Each plan comes with a defined premium & with validity – which is usually set for a year. A Credit Card protection plan has the following highlights
You can easily block your stolen or lost credit card. A call to the company’s customer service number from anywhere can get your registered card blocked. A replacement can also be authorized.
CPP will also protect your card against unauthorized transactions. It involves a worldwide cover; at a holiday, in case your card is stolen or lost, you can get travel tickets arranged for a return journey. This is applicable for international trips, as well.
You can avail of emergency cash advance. The amount that you can use during emergency depends on the plan you have subscribed for.
You can register your important documents like PAN Card, driver’s license, insurance certificates or passport with CPP. In case of loss of documents, you can ask for a duplicate replacement using the registered document as proof.
You can cancel your subscription anytime without any charges. You get a full refund even if you made no claims within 30 days of setting up the plan.
What to do in case of Credit Card fraud?
A fraud can always happen when you least expect it. Despite following the above-mentioned practices, you could still fall victim to fraud. In case you do, take action immediately.
Firstly, contact your Credit Card provider’s customer care number. Note down the representative’s name and your complaint reference number. In case, if you are visiting the card issuer’s office in person, keep a copy of the complaint with you.
Next, file an FIR (First Information Report) at your local police station with regards to the fraud. In case, if the fraud was committed online, file a complaint with the cyber police.
Based on the complaint, the card provider will investigate the matter and firstly freeze the account. Any fraudulent transactions are tracked and tried to be reversed. In case of online fraud, the online merchant is contacted.
In case, if the Credit Card provider does not reply or act on your complaints, you can then escalate the issue to a banking ombudsman (A banking ombudsman’s role is to resolve customer complaints related to banking issues or credit cards). They also investigate deficiencies in services promised. Even charges levied without the customer being informed is investigated by the ombudsman. You can either send an email or courier your complaint copy to the ombudsman.