Should I be Worried About Debit and Credit Card Fraud?

It’s not unusual to hear terrifying news stories every now and again about rises in identity theft and all the different kinds of debit and credit card fraud to be on the lookout for. However, if you have a decent grasp of what these types of theft are, you can start to properly protect yourself – here’s how.

Shopping for a credit card – It’s not just about the APR

The truth of the matter is that while it is massively inconvenient for credit card users when fraudulent activity leaves them out of pocket, it is also very costly for providers to fix. Not only is there the whole process of monitoring activity to spot fraud, there’s also everything that comes afterwards if the worst does happen. However, this huge expense means that reputable credit card providers are very keen to invest in making sure they are able to offer things like MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa – which are often referred to as 3D Secure – as these can help protect you when you shop online. So, if you are in the market for a new card, maybe these facilities should be on your checklist too.

Cash machine fraud –Don’t be afraid, be vigilant

Many people feel a little uncomfortable at cash machines, which again is often not helped by some of the horror stories we’ve heard about people being robbed at ATM machines, or how unscrupulous criminals have developed sophisticated ways of capturing our details. If you can just be a bit careful though, you can make sure you aren’t targeted.

Often cash machines will be near to CCTV-monitored areas, so using these ATMs is always a good idea as criminals are likely to have noticed this too. The other thing to think about is if anyone is making you feel uncomfortable. Are they too close? Peering over your shoulder? If so, go somewhere else. Apart from that, always protect your PIN with your hand and keep an eye out for anything that looks like it doesn’t belong on the machine. Again, if you aren’t happy, don’t be afraid to go elsewhere.

When it comes to things like ‘mail not received’ and ‘card not present’ fraud, this becomes a wider issue about protecting your personal information. If you receive unnecessary bills and statements to your home address, go paper-free and keep track of everything online. Store receipts carefully and shred anything you don’t need and never let people have unauthorized access to your plastic. As it can be simple things like this that make credit card ownership safe and incident free.