scorecardresearch8 tips to help you ensure safe credit card usage

8 tips to help you ensure safe credit card usage

Updated: 21 Jul 2022, 07:57 AM IST

Credit card use has shot up in recent years among both the young and the old. The increased number of transactions now mandates an added layer of security as we are bombarded with more instances of credit card frauds every day. 

Keeping your credit card(s) safe is equally important as selecting the right card company.

Keeping your credit card(s) safe is equally important as selecting the right card company.

The number of credit card users has gone up manifold as reflected in the recent statistics by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The most recent card statistics of May 2022 reflect how the use of credit cards through swipes at various points of sale and through the web has received a boost to date. Banks are increasing their card base rapidly as the new generation loves to pay for things on the go sans the hassle of waiting for their regular salaries. Instant gratification is the way now for credit card users, thus, explaining the constant surge in the number of credit cards being sold on a month-on-month basis.

However, multiple instances of credit card fraud highlight safety concerns regarding their storage and use. In this new age of hacking and online frauds, it is not enough to stow away your credit cards in your purse or wallet as scammers use stolen card information to defraud the vulnerable of their hard-earned money. Some essential tips that can help eliminate credit card fraud or misuse include:

Do not share credit card information

You do not share risk sharing your bank password. Then, why give away your credit card details so rampantly to your friends and relatives? Responsible use of credit cards can have a lasting positive impact on your credit score while its misuse can damage your financials. Though there are checks in place like PIN authentication, regular updates on balances and mobile updates on every credit card purchase, it makes more sense to avoid unwarranted credit card risks. Using a credit card in foreign countries could pose higher risks owing to factors unknown, which explains why must insist that your card is swiped in your presence. This prevents any possibility of misuse of your card in your absence.

Secure your credit card password

Note down the password of your card in a safe place. This means that you must keep it out of reach of unknown people. Do not share card details including your card login details, passwords, card and CVV numbers. Learn how this information can be misused to avoid being defrauded or taken advantage of. Also, do not log in with your details on computers used by the common public in cafes or networks running on public Wi-Fi networks. To ensure utmost security, consider changing your credit card password and PIN every three months.

Avoid clicking on suspicious websites

Not many are aware of how spyware is used to commit credit card fraud. Scammers lure the vulnerable to make purchases or the unsuspecting to non-existent charity organizations by sending them fake links to unsuspecting victims by email. Unknowingly clicking on these sites and sharing your credit card information will cause the money to be swiped away from your account. Ironically, this happens without you knowing how your card information has been hacked and will be further used to make further unauthorised payments or secure debt, etc. Check for the site’s security or download anti-malware with URL checking protection.

Sign up for transaction alerts

No doubt that credit card companies seek OTP details for transactions being made on the web. However, you must still seek added protection by signing up for alerts with your card issuer. This will help you keep track of all the expenses being made using your card including those exceeding a certain limit or international transactions. You can also seek balance transfer requests and other actions frequently to avoid chances of credit card fraud.

Limit the use of your card

If you are an uncontrollable spendthrift or someone who has the constant urge to shop for new gadgets or cool accessories on the block, setting a transaction limit on your card will help you get rid of getting into a debt trap following rampant credit card use. To start with, set the credit card limit via the card company’s app or through the web. This will put a stop to continued domestic and foreign transactions by putting a pause on your daily transactions. There are fewer transactions on your card, thus, minimizing instances of credit card fraud too.

Checking card statements regularly

You must always ensure to keep a track of your credit card transactions. The best way out is to scan and verify your monthly credit card statements and check for possible unauthorised transactions. In case of an anomaly regarding purchases or unknown transactions, you can get in touch with the credit card company to report misinformation. Also, check how this may have affected your credit score and work to get it rectified at the earliest. Frequently checking your credit card information is also important as there have been instances wherein people have complained about their card details being misused to seek loans or repay unpaid debts. Checking your credit card report ensures that you are saved from such activities by being informed about them at the earliest.

Tokenise credit cards

If you are finding it difficult to safely store your credit card information, the best way out is to replace the details in the information with a unique code that shields you against possible data theft. Tokenisation helps protect credit card information as the original information including credit card numbers does not get shared while transacting online, thus, saving you from the possibility of your details being saved with the merchant. The RBI has allowed an extension of the credit tokenisation deadline to September 30, 2022, which card users can adopt to enhance their credit card security.

Getting your card(s) blocked

Irrespective of how safe you play, there are high chances of your credit card data getting compromised or getting misused for fraudulent transactions. You must aim to get your credit cards blocked immediately through your app or the online platform. Alternatively, you may also call the customer care number to get your card blocked in due time. Keep the card company informed about the fraud and seek information regarding the processes in place to recover the lost amount.

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First Published: 21 Jul 2022, 07:57 AM IST