Have you ever found an unauthorized purchase in your credit card's balance? It happens more often than you think. To avoid these unpleasant surprises, you can protect your credit cards from thefts. Also, take a look at our brief (but very helpful) guide to avoiding online scams.
Keep an eye on your physical credit card
When stealing your physical credit or debit card, thefts can easily make any purchase online, as they've got all the information they need: credit card number, expiration date, and the security code on the back. They could make fraudulent purchases in a couple of minutes. So, keep an eye on your credit card when you pay in a restaurant, for example, in order to make sure that nobody steals the information. And don't forget your credit card if you’re paying in a hurry, which can happen when your mind is elsewhere.
Carry only the cards you need
If you have many cards, including credit cards, debit cards, membership cards, etc., try not to put them all together in your wallet. If it gets stolen or lost, it'll take a lot of time to report every missing card, and you can't skip this process if you want to avoid letting scammers use them.
Beware of card skimmers
Credit card skimmers are small devices placed on a legitimate spot for a card scanner, such as a gas pump or ATM. They can be almost invisible, but capture all the information stored in a card's magnetic stripe. These gadgets are usually stuck out past the panel rather than sitting flush with it, as a legitimate credit card scanner is supposed to be.
Pay attention at home
Your home isn't safe from scammers’ strategies. Physical credit cards usually arrive at your home by mail, and both banks and credit card companies also send you promotions and other information to your mailbox. That's why it's important to collect your mail daily and put it on hold when you go out for holidays. Additionally, try to keep your card-related paperwork in a safe place, as it contains a lot of strategic information that scammers could use for their sakes if they get to it.
Avoid online scams
Scammers use a common trick to get your card's information by sending emails to the bank’s users. They pretend to be legitimate representatives asking for any information related to your cards, which they ask you to write down on a link. Many people don't suspect that it can be a fake email, but you should never provide your credit card information to a random link on your email inbox. To make sure that's a legitimate website, you can click on the display name, to see the actual email address that sent you the message. Illegitimate addresses do not follow the same email address format you'll see from the legitimate company. In addition, check that it has a secure URL, which starts with https:// (rather than Http://) and features a lock icon in the browser bar. If either of these elements is missing, don’t enter your credit card information.
Secure your online activity
Online banking and online shopping are the most comfortable ways to do a lot of tasks and save time on them. In order to avoid scams, you need to use strong and unique passwords for all your online financial movements. Keep these passwords saved elsewhere, not your computer!
PROTECT YOUR CREDIT CARD FROM ONLINE SCAMMERS!
If someone steals your wallet or your credit card gets lost, it can be a real bummer. However, there’s an upside: at least you know that you need to request a new card and shut down the lost one. If someone steals your credit card information and you don’t notice it, they can start using it until you realize what’s going on, which can add up to many hundreds of dollars.
Online scammers are quick and are always coming up with new ways to deceive innocent credit card owners. They have simple tricks that work on distracted or naïve consumers. Luckily, you can anticipate most of these and avoid falling in many traps! You have to be suspicious of all emails that reach your account and demand that you write down in some website your credit card data or payment information. If you’re not certain whether it’s a scam or not, you can verify it by paying attention to some details.
Firstly, look at the email address. If you click on the display name, which usually looks pretty official, you can see the real email address. If it doesn’t follow the legitimate format of the company, chances are you were almost the target of a scam.
Secondly, look at the URL of the link that you received in the email. If it’s a legitimate site, it should start with https://, because all sites that ask for your financial information should be secure ones. You should also see a small lock icon in the browser bar. An unsecured site starts with http://, so avoid entering your payment information there.
You can also shut down fraudulent sales if you go over your credit card statements, as well as your banking ones. This way, you’ll notice any suspicious purchases on time to stop them from being charged.