As with our previous article which covered
your ATM cards safely, credit cards are also the target of
unscrupulous people who want something for nothing.
Using credit cards safely needs a little more
work than safe guarding your ATM PIN number and card, because
unlike the ATM card you do have to give your card to someone else,
and that is where the problems may begin.
In fact, credit card fraud is extremely
serious, and almost impossible to safe guard against 100%
effectively. It is also very closely linked to an even more
serious problem - identity theft.
These tips apply equally to when we travel
abroad to when we are at home. Remember that all someone needs is
your number, of course a little more information is sometimes
required but problems can begin with just a credit card number so
the first guide to safety is ensuring you stay with your card at
all times, and watch how it is used.
This can be difficult to do we know, but
it really is the only way to help prevent the loss of your card
Keep details of your credit card, the
number, security number, date of expiration etc. somewhere safe
and separate from your wallet, and keep a copy of this information
when you travel.
Also make a note of the emergency
telephone numbers that credit card companies offer in case your
card is lost or stolen, check if they have a local office in the
destination you are travelling to.
If your card is lost or stolen call the
company immediately to report it.
When using the credit card online, always
ensure that the website is reputable, and that the website uses
some form of SSL security which is normally visible by a little
padlock appearing in the bottom right of Internet Explorer, the
page may also start with https:// instead of the regular http://
Safe guard receipts and destroy carbon copies.
This may seem over the top but we actually recommend keeping the
receipts in a safe place so you can accurately compare them with
the statements you receive and shred the rest. Shredders now are
affordable and help to ensure that any confidential information is
quite literally shredded. People committing credit card fraud and
identity theft often rummage through dustbins and letter boxes.
Don't give out any details about anything
to anyone who has called you. If you know the company, ring them
back on the general number to make sure that the person calling
truly does work for that company.
Always check the amount twice when
signing, anyone can make a mistake be it intentionally or by
Always check your billing statement
promptly to check there are no suspicious charges. If there is,
report it immediately to the credit card company.
Only allow people to use a machine you
recognise on your card, skimmers are available that allow people
to copy all your card details in seconds.
If in doubt use cash, and happy
travelling! These stories of using your credit cards and ATM cards
are not meant to scare you from using them we just hope they
encourage you to use them more carefully.
your ATM card safely.
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