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Beware Of These 5 Credit Card Scams To Protect Your Finances

Adhil Shetty

Did you know that the number of credit and debit card scam cases rose to 2,446 in 2018? This was one of the reasons that the Reserve Bank of India made it mandatory for all forms of plastic money to be renewed with the EMV chip for higher financial safety. However, with a new form of OTP theft on the rise in Bengaluru, it is essential you do not let your guard down about any potential threats and scams. Take a look at some forms of credit card scams that you need to know about to protect your hard-earned money.

Physical Theft

This is still one of the biggest threats that credit card users need to watch out for. Stay cautious and aware of your wallet while traveling or in a crowd to prevent pickpocketing and always remember to put your card back in your wallet after swiping it. Further, avoid writing down the PIN or other information that can make fraudulent usage easier when your card is stolen. Remember, your credit card is usable until you have it blocked, which gives a thief enough time to dupe you of a substantial amount before you notice your card is missing and make the call to your issuer.

Call and Email Scams
Many emails or SMSs may seem like they are from genuine sources, but they are not. These mailers or messages often contain links to malicious software, which can be downloaded on your phone or computer. Called phishing, this practice depends on software to gather your personal data including passwords, PINs, and account numbers. You may also receive various texts from your credit card issuer or bank that state none of their employees would ask you for your OTP or CVV, and there is a reason for these texts too. Vishing is similar to phishing and includes spam calls wherein the caller may try to probe you to release your personal information like your card number, CVV or OTP. So, the next time you get such calls or messages, remember not to click on those links or continue conversations that are intended to force out important information.

Payment via unauthorised websites

Online shopping is too convenient to ignore or eliminate. However, scammers are known to create websites that are very similar to genuine sites, and once you enter your credit card details, use the same to make fraudulent transactions. Make sure you check the website address for an extra letter or misspelling or choose the COD option even if it charges you an extra fee. After all, if paying a little more can prevent the loss of a lot more than the COD fee, there’s no harm done.

Stolen Card Details Via Internet Use

In this day and age, physically stealing your credit card isn’t the only kind of stealing you may fall prey to. Sometimes, availing public Wi-Fi can come attached with the risk of stolen credit card details. That’s why your phone prompts you to use a secure Wi-Fi connection. Avoid hacking possibilities by sticking to your home Wi-Fi or data connection. If necessary, use public Wi-Fi, but avoid carrying out any financial transactions while using it. Another way of stealing your card details involves you unknowingly downloading software while using such Wi-Fi services, which then records your input information for fraudulent use. Also known as keystroke logging, this method allows hackers to record your keystrokes and passwords to steal details related to your credit card.

Identity theft

Did you know certain fraudsters fake credit card applications by stealing your identity? In some cases, these fraudsters reapply for a credit card and request a change in address by pretending to be you. This way they gain access to your credit card and use it for the wrong reasons. Store your bank statements and utility bills carefully, as these can be used for this process. If you think this is malicious, you will be surprised at how the scam of skimming can be even worse! Skimming involves the process of stealing credit card data through electronic devices or receipt copies post your transaction. Commonly occurring at points-of-sale, this is one of the reasons the EMV chip was forced into usage so that the magnetic strip of your card cannot be taken advantage of. While this issue may be resolved, it’s better to be safe than sorry by keeping an eye on your credit card statement and signing up for SMS alerts for each transaction.

While you cannot completely bid goodbye to convenient apps and mobile wallets, you can now identify potential risks and keep your credit card from being misused.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com