Identity theft is quite common, and this affects most credit cardholders. This applies to both online and physical purchases. You should always be cautious because many have ended up losing their hard-earned cash through these scams.
There are several precautions you should observe. The use of identity theft protection services can help keep your personal information and identity safe from fraudsters. There are other tips you should follow to avoid this type of scam. They include:
Be Careful When Making a Withdrawal
It is the simplest advice, but one we mostly forget. When making a cash withdrawal at the counter, be careful of your surroundings and cover the keypad when entering your card’s PIN code. But not only that: it is advisable to make sure that no skimmers are placed on the counter – that is, small electronic devices that are inserted into ATMs to clone payment cards and steal the data of the secret code – and that no microphones and cameras are installed near the counter. Finally, it is important not to keep the PIN with your credit card.
Check Your Statement Periodically
Credit card and ATM scams are a very insidious phenomenon because usually, the cardholder does not realize immediately they are deceived. For this reason, it is necessary to arrange a periodic control of movements and activate SMS notification services for each operation to take precautions in case of abnormal operations immediately. Always keep the receipts for withdrawals and payments.
Block Your Credit Card
If looking at your account statement, you see a “suspicious” transaction or one you don’t remember, the first thing to do is block the card. This is the only way to avoid further charges. To block, call the telephone number of the bank or institution that issued the card. Usually, this is an emergency toll-free number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If this number has not been registered in the mobile phone book, you can search for it on the Internet by clicking a few keywords, such as “toll-free number” and “Block credit card,” in addition to the bank’s name.
Shopping in Stores: How to Behave
If you purchase in a shop with a card, it is always advisable to go to the cashier personally, thus avoiding entrusting the task to a stranger (for example, a waiter if you are in a restaurant or the petrol pump attendant if refueling). It is also advisable to use prepaid cards (for example, PayPal) that are not connected to a current account and smart payment systems that use advanced technology. This system allows you to use your smartphone to make payments by credit card.