Protect Yourselves Against Fraud


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As with every financial instrument, there are credit card related frauds too. There are thieves who scan through trash to gain access to credit account related information and then use it for their benefit. Once in a while there could be a treacherous person at the till of a store or at the payment counter of a local restaurant. Even simply, your card could get stolen and put to fraudulent use.

Whatever the possible ways of fraud is, we are just concerned with ensuring that we have all the guards in place so as to minimize the possibility of fraud occurring with us. Such safe guards are generally provided by all credit card companies as instructions to new card holders. Let's take a snapshot of what the most recommended safeguards are:

1. Always sign at the back of your credit card, as soon as you receive it. This is an explicit instruction from credit card companies to all card holders and is an important means of establishing identity.

2. Keep the details about your credit card and company in a secure place and separate from your credit card. In case your card gets stolen or misplaced, immediately inform the credit card company about it. All credit card companies have dedicated 24x7 lines for receiving such information. As soon as this information is received by the company, it blocks the card so as to prevent subsequent misuse of the same.

3. Keep your credit card separate from your wallet so that if a pickpocket demonstrates his/her skill on you pocket, you are not stranded due to no-cash and no-card. As the saying goes, never keep all your eggs in the same basket.

4. Never leave your card unattended and keep an eye on your card whenever conducting a transaction, just to ensure that it's not being misused or copied. It's important to mention here that there are electronic devices which are being used by fraudsters to easily retrieve information from your card for the purpose of creating a duplicate card.

5. Destroy any mails/posts that contain your credit card details. Don't bin them as-is. Remember, there could be trash scanners on the prowl.

6. ‘Change of address’ communications should be made promptly and in advance.

7. Always check your monthly statement and verify its correctness, instead of ignoring them as a lot of people do. In case you find anything amiss, immediately inform the credit card company about the same.

8. Also, avoid doing credit card transactions with shops or companies of ill repute.

9. Do not reveal your account details over internet or phone, even if the caller on phone or the email in your inbox appears to be from your credit card company. Fraudsters can sometimes pose as the credit card company itself and try to extract details about your card (including the PIN number). Also, online or on-phone shopping with companies you are not sure of is a big-big no.

Though there is nothing stopping you from possessing and using a credit card, the above-stated precautions should always be borne in mind.

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