A credit card is an integral component of our wallet and is used by many on a daily basis. We have become complacent with our card’s security, and it’s exactly this complacency that makes us an easy target for fraudsters, for long gone are the days where they physically require your card to copy it.
The 7 tips below will help you keep your card safe, and fraudsters at bay.
1. Activate a card as soon as you get it
There may be instances when you’ve received a card and may not want it, or did not request for it. Regardless of whether you want it or not, never let it sit around inactivated.
Even if you don’t intend to use the card, it is advisable to activate it and store it in a safe place. New cards lying around in their envelopes can be mistaken for junk mail and might end up in the trash and in someone else’s hands.
Our penchant for revealing personal information on social media can allow anyone to activate a new card with just our name, and the information we put online.
Additional read: Secrets You Should Know About Credit Cards
2. Shred bank statements
If you’re a messy person like I am, you would probably have copies of your bank statement or credit card statement lying around.
Don’t be like me! It is absolutely vital that you dispose of these correctly only by shredding them up. Crumpling them and throwing them along with other paper waste is a big no.
Dumpster diving is actually a thing. Fraudsters go through your trash looking for such documents that may contain your financial data.
Always remember to shred such documents once they are no longer of any use to you.
3. Watch your card
While the occurrence of such fraud attacks may have dwindled, it is still a plausible scenario. Usually occurring in restaurants and bars, such attacks happen when you hand your card over to have it dipped at the register.
In its journey from your hand to the register, the card can even end up in a fraudsters hand, who at best would charge a transaction to it or at worst, copying the details and using it at a later date. Many transactions online still don’t require OTP verification, and a fraudster with your card details could easily make small and repeated purchases that you won’t notice.
So, you’d want to watch your card closely and make sure it goes straight to the register and nowhere else. This practice must be followed every time you hand your card over, especially when travelling overseas.
Additional read: How to Survive a Day in Singapore Without Cash
4. Activate overseas use only when travelling
Credit cards now require you to activate them for overseas use but the key point to remember is to deactivate them once your back.
Some banks offer an automatic deactivation service when you let them know your travel dates in advance but it’s still better to be safe than sorry and have it deactivated manually.
Additional read: Warning: Don’t Pay in Singapore Dollars When Shopping Overseas
5. Hold onto your receipts and cross check them with your monthly statement
This practice serves two functions. One, when you go over them at the end of the month, you can track your expenses which can help eliminate unnecessary expenses going forward and two, you can spot fraudulent charges when you compare them with your monthly statement.
Holding on to the receipts may seem like a bit of hassle but in the grand scheme of things, it’s either being a little disciplined or having to pay for transactions you didn’t authorize.
Additional read: 5 Apps You Definitely Need to Get Your Finances Straight
6. Never give out your credit card details
Regardless of which channel is used, be it an email or over the phone, a bank will never call you and ask you to provide the number. Regardless of how professional the call sounds, or if the email has the company logo and everything, a legitimate institute would never ask for your credit card information, so don’t go about giving it.
7. Update changes in contact numbers or address
If you change your residence or telephone number, be sure to inform the bank about it and see to it that the information is updated.
If you don’t, you stop receiving the monthly statements or alerts, and when mails go to the wrong house, it might end up in the wrong hands.
Alerts are another thing you need to sign-up for. These provide you instant SMS alerts when a transaction has been made or if a transaction has exceeded a certain limit.
Changes in your mobile number should be informed to the bank on a priority basis as these alerts might still go to the old number. Alerts are very important as they allow you to quickly spot any fraudulent charges and dispute them.
Additional read: 6 Credit Card Mistakes You Must Avoid
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