The alarm is going ‘BEEP BEEP BEEP…’ and like a blind man’s stretched hand, Rajeev shuts the alarm. He sits upright, wears his flip-flops and strolls into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. The phone goes ‘PLONK’, and then again, ‘PLONK’. Rajeev is used to the early morning Hindi SMS’ that turn-up on the phone each morning. Getting out, with the brush jammed within the side of his cheek, he looks at the phone, wanting to check his Facebook notifications, but reads the SMS alert instead,
‘Thank you for using your XML Credit Card for a purchase worth Rs. 90,000 on POS E928AB78264 at Flounder Mall. If this is not done by you, immediately call 1-800-148362 for assistance.”
Rajeev takes a step back, his face now looking startled. He never used his Credit card for any transaction this month. He tries to remember where he keeps the card and realizes he hasn’t seen it for quite a while. He scurries to his wallet, then the drawers and then realizes it’s gone. When? How? He does not remember.
Just like the Facebook data scandal is all over the news, it gives us a chance to access what precautions we are taking in our personal lives with regards to personal information and financial information.
Credit Card Protection
The emphasis on Credit Card security is amplified by all Credit Card issuers. Credit Cards are tangible financial instruments that fuel the audacity of thieves or hackers to gain any sensitive information with regards to it. Despite all the advertisements and marketing campaigns surrounding Credit Card security, we take it for granted. Precautionary Credit card safety tips and cautions are always present on Credit Card company websites.
Technology has made our lives convenient. Technology is also simultaneously helping hackers to find avenues to usurp your Credit Card details via online fraud.
Credit Card Safety Issues
Your Credit Card can face a plethora of safety issues. Whatever happens, you need to be prepared for them and always have the contact number of the issuer in your contacts list. Some common Credit Card safety issues are…
- If the card is stolen, there is a high probability of Credit Card fraud to happen.
- 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
- If 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.
- When a telemarketing scam is committed, wherein fraudsters call you asking for your Credit Card information on the pretext of offering you a discounted travel package
- If skimmers (devices placed near a card swiping machine) read your card’s magnetic strip and grab your card details. The details can be duplicated onto another card.
- When phishing sees you receive phony emails in your inbox claiming to be an institution asking for your card information. This way, you voluntarily give the fraudsters your information.
Credit Card Security Tips
Even the best Credit Card in India can become a target of fraud. There are measures taken by Credit Card companies in India to protect Credit Cards online. There are also Visa & Mastercard Credit Cards available. Compare Credit Cards online to see which offer better Credit Card features and security.
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 at home.
- Look out for a confirmation payment email, or SMS, whenever you make a payment via Credit Card.
- Know till how long 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 it gets stolen or is 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 strong 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 or make a habit of online payments
- Check if the online shopping portals, you browse on, have safe digital certificates from standard authentication service providers such as VeriSign.
Post Credit Card Fraud Measures
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 a copy of your complaint to the ombudsman.
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