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How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud

In 2018, worldwide credit card fraud losses amounted to $24.26 billion. More than 38 percent of these cases happened in the United States, making it the world’s credit card fraud hot spot. But this problem is in no way exclusive to the United States, or the rest of the first world for that matter. Even developing countries face this challenge, such as the Philippines.

Ideally, the government and banking institutions have policies to curb the occurrence of credit card fraud. That goes without saying that each cardholder should also practice the utmost care in handling their financial transactions. To spare yourself the emotional and financial trouble caused by credit card fraud, here’s what you should do.

Bank wisely

Credit card fraud prevention begins with choosing the right bank. In the Philippines, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation has an excellent track record in protecting its clients from credit card fraud. The company is proactive in educating its clients regarding the ins and outs of fraudulent credit card transactions.

Do not lose sight of your credit card

Of course, we do not mean this literally. That would be nearly impossible unless you’re that committed to your financial health. Still, it’s worth noting that not all fraudsters exist online. Some of them could be sitting next to your table at the coffee shop you frequent.

When leaving the house, take only the cards that you need. If you still have one of those old school magnetic strip cards, it is best that you leave it at home. Instead, bring your chip-and-pin credit card. The latter’s less susceptible to credit card misuse due to theft.

Keep your credit card information private

No matter how excited you get after receiving your first credit card from a reputable bank, no less, do not take a picture of the card to brag on social media. Your credit card information is for your eyes only. That is unless you are willing to share your credit balance with the rest of the world.

Give your credit card information only to individuals you trust without a doubt. If you received a call or an e-mail from someone claiming to be a representative from your bank, and asking for your credit card information, raise the red flag and do not fall prey to the scheme. It’s obviously a fraudulent call because no bank will call clients to solicit any personal information. On the other hand, you can contact your bank to discuss your credit card transactions, and in this case, they might ask for your personal information to verify your identity.

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Be careful when using your card online

Shop only from established websites. And before paying for a product or service online, at least read a few customer testimonials first. If you read nothing suspicious, pursue the transaction. Otherwise, look someplace safer.

Moreover, be mindful of phishing. It’s one of the favorite tactics used by fraudsters. Here you receive an e-mail from “your bank”. Many people fall victim to phishing because most of these e-mails do look legit. But never click any links from these e-mails. Or if you made the mistake of clicking a link, do not input your personal information on the resulting site. If you do, your credit card will be compromised, and before you know it, you’ve maxed out your credit limit for stuff you did not buy.

Review your statement of account

If you still receive a paper copy of your statement of account, review it upon receipt. This way, you know right away if there’s any inaccuracy there. Once you see everything’s in order, you should ideally shred the paper statement before throwing it away. You never know who’s rummaging the contents of the trash bin outside your house.

Alternatively, you can opt out of receiving paper statements. Instead, you can enroll in online banking, where you can regularly access your account. Another option is enrolling your e-mail for a digital statement of account.

Remember that your bank is in the position to determine whether you’re reported credit card fraud is authentic or not. Should your credit card provider refuse to acknowledge the veracity of your claim, you will be liable to pay any incurred debts resulting from your reported transactions. That’s not the kind of risk you should be willing to take.

Instead, ensure that you keep your credit card information private. Educate yourself on the common tactics used by fraudsters. And as soon as you notice any irregularities with your account, contact your bank and let them know your concerns ASAP.

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