With the advent of the e-commerce sector, two things have happened. One, the ease of accessibility has increased, i.e. now the consumers can have goods delivered at their doorsteps, and two, the dependency on online payment gateways has increased. While the first one has drastically decreased the troubles that a customer had in the pursuit of buying a product, the second one has increased them. And here, I’m not talking about the troubles in those online transactions, rather, I’m talking about the frauds that happen due to them. Statistically speaking, USA is ranked third, tied with India when it comes to the percentage of people who have faced credit or debit card frauds. Not only through the e-commerce sites, but through a variety of other sources, one uses credit cards for online transactions, and a little carelessness may cost you dearly.
Data theft, which in turn leads to frauds can be easily prevented with a few simple precautions-
1. Private information should be dealt like private information
A majority of crimes occur when the perpetrator comes to know about the data that must have otherwise remained confidential. Data such as account number, card number, security pin etc must not be disclosed at any cost. But they are, though unknowingly, but once disclosed, it can be dangerous. Storing information on papers, cards or phones, is first of all not advised, and secondly, if stored, it must be kept safe. Make sure that you lock your smart phone which has valuable information stored in it. Ensure that the receipts generated must be shredded before they reach the dustbin and the same must be the done with any sort of paperwork with any kind of banking information on it. Think like a criminal. Everything must be clean, without leaving any traces.
Also Read: How to improve a Bad Credit Score
2. Don’t shop anywhere and everywhere
Use your Credit Card only where you can trust the website. A lot of people use their cards relentlessly without paying attention to the client they are dealing with. There are numerous fraudulent websites waiting to make use of such opportunities. After all, whatever you see, is just on the screen which may or may not exist in the real world. There have been cases where people have done transactions using public computers which rarely have any security software. Instances of people revealing their account’s information on telephonic conversations have also been observed. It is advised to use your credit/debit card only when you find that the source of the transaction is a renowned, trustworthy website.
3. Ignore suspicious e-mails
E-mails requesting your account information must be trashed immediately. Never reply to emails that ask for your card number. As authentic as they may sound, such e-mails, are more often than not, fraudulent.
4. Review your statement
As soon as you receive your credit card bill, you must check whether each entry is legitimate or not. In other words, see whether there is a bill against your name for a product which you hadn’t bought or for a service which you hadn’t availed. Keep a record of all your bills. It will help you cross check your transactions and keep an account of everything. Regular reviewing must be done so that you might not find yourself in a situation when at the end of the month you review you bills, you do not remember anything about half of the transactions made there. Keep yourself updated.
5. Know your card
In the worst case scenario, i.e. even after all these precautions, if you fall prey to a fraud, you must immediately contact your bank or your credit card company and get your card blocked. Let your bank know, verify your charges, and sign up for a fraud prevention service. You must also try to remember your credit card details such as card number, pin etc. as well as your account number, so that, should there be any theft, you would be in a position to take stringent action immediately. Remember your passwords and use good passwords that cannot be easily tracked. Everything, every bit of information that is there on your card must be there in your brain too. That is the best precaution.
Be informed, prevent yourself from getting harmed!