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Fraud Protection Tips For Credit and Debit Card Holders

Finance

The convenience of online shopping is revolutionary, to say the least.  However, shopping online should not be taken lightly.  The “F” word in the credit card world can make your heart pause for a few seconds.  Fraud is the bread and butter of credit and debit card information thieves. To prevent credit and debit card fraud, security measures must be taken especially if you shop online frequently, or make money transfers online.  There are a couple of mistakes by card holders that should be corrected for more secure online transactions.

Internet cafe       

Have you ever heard of key loggers?  A key logger is a type of surveillance software that can record every key stroke you make to a log file.  A key logger can record instant messages and any information you type using your keyboard.  It can be sent to a specified receiver.  It can be installed on any workstation, desktop or laptop.

To prevent credit/debit card fraud, you should avoid typing credit card information when using a public computer because a key logger might have been installed, thereby making it quick and easy for the person who installed the key logger to gather your credit card information.  A key logger can also record just about anything you type on the keyboard—your email password, your cyber log in account with your bank that you use for transferring money or for paying bills.  Just think of your friends on Facebook who claim to have been hacked.   An easy way to hack into one’s account is to install a key logger.  So, when you are using a public computer in an internet cafe, avoid engaging in delicate transactions wherein your credit card information may be compromised.  This is a common mistake by card holders.  It is safer to do your transactions on your own laptop or on a family member’s or friend’s laptop.

Fake websites

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Hoax or fake websites literally steer you in the wrong direction.  Here is a fraud protection tip: when making purchases and transactions online, attention to detail is required, not only with regard to your credit card information, but most importantly, the website you are currently on.  Some fake websites are utilized by scammers to sell products which do not exist, or if they really do exist, they have no plans of sending.  But the most dangerous purpose of creating websites like these is to gather credit card information. Hackers and scammers alter the web address a little bit, making it appear that you are on a legitimate merchant’s website or your bank’s online access.  It could be as simple as a dash, for example: https://www.bpiexpressonline.com (original) that could be altered into https://www.bpi-expressonline.com (take note of the dash) or an altered letter in the web address that can be easily overlooked:  https://www.dpi.expressonline.com (take note of the letter D instead of the original B)

No matter how careful you are with regard to your credit card information, you can always fall into the trap of this simple trick.  To prevent card fraud, here is another fraud protection tip: Be careful and always do research on the company/establishment or merchant store before going to their website because it may be a fake/hoax website.  If there is an existing fake website of such establishment, chances are they have already discovered it and had taken steps to take it down and even put a warning on the legitimate website about the fake website.  The downside is, most likely, customers have already been victimized by the time that warning appears.  The fake site may seem to be characterized with ingenuity, but it’s more like a cheap shot by a scammer.

Where art thou credit card?

A phrase you hopefully will never have to utter.  No matter how busy you are, you can never be too busy to know where your credit or debit card’s whereabouts is.  You don’t have to go through the horrors of being a victim of identity credit card fraud to learn a lesson. Treat your cards as “your precious.”  Cash may be king but the credit cards are important.  When your credit card information is stolen, generally the thief has more spending power than your wallet with cash. The unauthorized charges left unpaid or not cleared up will affect your credit. If it’s your debit card a thief could end up being king of the rest of your cash in the bank.

Then there’s the whole mess and inconvenience of straightening it all out plus the money to do that if it’s your credit card. Have a presence of mind.  Make sure they don’t fall out of your wallet.  You can’t sue a wallet company for having loose pockets.  And you can’t sue the person who stole your credit or debit card information if you don’t even know who it was or the last place you had it.

Anybody can pick up and use a credit/debit card lying around, online or otherwise.  Remember, most mobile phones nowadays come with a camera.  A snapshot of your card is all it takes to have it stolen.  It may physically be with you, but its picture can also be taken advantage of because it contains your credit card or debit card number.

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