This can fall under many different methods as unscrupulous people find more ways to scam unsuspecting people.
How they steal your credit card information
Be careful with unfamiliar websites or unknown merchants. Even if at checkout it says that your information is encrypted, this does not guarantee that your information is safe with them. Encryption only means that your data is secure between you and the merchant. The merchant will still have your card number.
Dishonest phone caller
Be wary if a phone caller asks only for your card number and expiration date to qualify for some kind of special offer.
A clerk who makes a copy of your credit card details for their own personal use.
Types of credit card fraud:
If your identity is stolen and the thief obtains a credit card in your name, they are able to commit application fraud. The thief only has to sign the card and they are free to max out the limit. You become liable for the debt drawn up.
Card not present fraud/misappropriation
The thief discovered your card details somehow and uses them to make purchases where your signature and PIN are not required. This occurs most often in online purchases.
Counterfeit card fraud
Counterfeit credit cards are created, sold and are easily obtainable. Personal information is sold to fraudsters who then create counterfeit credit cards that look just like the real thing.
Not received fraud
This occurs when a thief steals your credit card before you can receive it in the mail. The information on the card is then most commonly used to make online purchases.
Ways to protect yourself:
- Check your receipts to verify transactions on your account
- Destroy your expired cards
- Don’t carry your PIN with you
- Don’t sign blank receipts
- If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately
- If you’re making a purchase online from an unknown or untrustworthy website, use a temporary card number. Find out which companies offer temporary virtual card numbers.
- Keep good situational awareness when using your credit card to make purchases in stores
- Sign new cards right away
What to do if you suspect credit card fraud
If you suspect suspicious activity, tell your provider to put a hold on your card. No matter where you are in the world, they have an international number for you to call 24/7. Try to get the lowest possible limits on any card that you have been frauded on.
It is a good idea to travel with at least one other payment method kept separate from your credit cards. If you find all of this information too scary or too much of a hassle, remember that a credit card may not even be needed for your particular lifestyle.
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