Whenever you use your card, always ensure that the transaction is completed in front of you and that no details are written down by the merchant. Do not provide photocopies of both sides of the credit card to anyone. The card verification value (CVV) which is required for online transactions is printed on the reverse of the card. Anyone can use the card for online purchases if the information is available with them.

Sameer (name changed), is a business man, who has always been prudent with his money. Whenever he used his credit card, he ensured that he would pay his dues back immediately. He also made sure that he never used his credit card for expensive purchases, using cash instead. Imagine his unpleasant surprise, when he got a credit card bill showing that he had used up his entire credit limit. On checking his statement, he saw purchases that he had never made. He went through hell trying to making payments over those purchases. Apparently, Sameer was the victim of credit card fraud.

Credit card frauds are on the rise these days. The credit card number, the Card Verification Value (CVV) or the Card Security Code (CSC), date of birth, credit card limit, residential address (stored on your card’s magnetic tape) is all that is needed for someone to misuse your credit card.

Being vigilant while using your credit card is the only way of preventing fraud. Here are some tips.

Card Verification Value (CVV) or the Card Security Code (CSC)

The CSC or CVV number is a security feature for credit or debit card transactions, giving increased protection against credit card fraud. It is not embossed like the card number, and is always a group of numbers printed on the back signature panel of the card.

This provides a level of protection to the bank/card holder, in that a corrupt merchant cannot simply capture the magnetic stripe details of a card and use them later for “card not present” purchases over the phone, mail order or Internet.

Whenever you use your card, always ensure that the transaction is completed in front of you and that no details are written down by the merchant. Do not provide photocopies of both sides of the credit card to anyone. The card verification value (CVV) which is required for online transactions is printed on the reverse of the card. Anyone can use the card for online purchases if the information is available with them.

Using cards online

When using your credit cards for making purchases online:

  • Ensure that website is a secure site. This can be done by checking whether the site is secured by a reputable net authentication agency like VeriSign.
  • Do not click on links in email seeking details of your account; they could be phishing emails from fraudsters. Most reputed companies will ask you to visit their website directly.
  • Do not give out your credit card details on unknown or suspicious websites.

Stolen Card and Suspicious Transactions

The first and foremost thing to do, after you have confirmed that you have lost your wallet or card or have seen suspicious transactions on your credit card statement, is to call up the bank’s 24 hour call centre and deactivate the card or inform the customer service representative about the suspicious transactions. The representative will help you file a complaint in regard to this. In case of lost cards, check if any transactions have been made on the card and if there are any; inform the bank about the ones that are not yours. This has to be done within a particular number of days which varies between 30 and 60 days according to different banks.

Some general tips

  • On receipt of a new card ensure that it is in sealed condition and that the seal is not tampered with.
  • Sign on the back of your new card as soon as you receive it.
  • Monitor your account regularly either on the Internet or from call centers. Also subscribe to email and mobile alerts to keep track of card usage.
  • Memorize your card’s PIN number.
  • Destroy and dispose all documents that mention the card number, such as copies of receipts, airline tickets, travel itineraries etc.
  • Personal account information should never be shared with anyone unless payment for the purchase is being done from that account.

Another important thing is keeping any useful information such as card number, expiry date, CVV number, and pin number etc. of your cards handy. However, that does not mean that you keep the information in places where it is easily accessible. Protect your card information as you would protect your money.

Finally, always stay at least 40% below your credit limit and review your account information either online or through the credit card company’s call center frequently. This will help you identify any suspicious transactions immediately.

Credit cards, though an easy way to have access to money without carrying around a lot of cash can become a big liability if not used prudently and carefully. Ensure that you use the card responsibly.

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  1. Better remove the CVV number from your card and memorise the cvv number before doing so…. simple

    Iqbal / Reply
    • Why aren't RBI putting guidelines for , 4 digit Pin code for any transaction,
      when it comes to Debit card its password protected, i think banks, well aware are not introducing such measures, for fraud to happen looks like.

      ALL credit card users, should propose password protection for every transaction, done at merchants .For online transaction password can be sms'ed to our linked mobile phones. to ensure uniquenes, of the PIN.


      Laxmikanth / Reply(in reply to Iqbal)
  2. Keep it up good work and thanks for the information

    Shabbir / Reply
  3. Let me make some factual corrections. Now a days nobody ask for cvv no. What is required to be given is your card expiry and address. Thus card misuse has become more simpler than ever.

    vijay / Reply
  4. Thanks for giving adivce in the interest of purblic at large using credit card in day to day affairs

    Anonymous / Reply

  6. Hi there, I wonder why is it that bank provides that CCV number on the card? This should not be printed on the card. I have scratched off this3 digit number it is necessary for internet shopping and even if one gives photocopy of just the front side of card, remembering a 3 digit CCV is very easy. So bank should not print CCV on the card but it should be supplied seperately. Of course verifying the website itself for online shopping is very important to safe guard from frauds.
    As for payment at point of sale, the credit card use should not be possible unless one enters the PIN same as using debit ot ATM card.
    I wonder why banks have not come out with concretet solutions like above. I think this is probably banks think that this is one more way of making money by indirectly helping fraudsters due to absence of adequate safe guard for card users.
    Government and consumer protection agencies should take this seriously and force banks to come up with fool proof safeguards for card users.

    siraj / Reply
  7. Why is the cvv number printed on the card instead of being a secret code like the pin number. Anyone with your card number and the cvv number can make a purchase over the internet, which happened to me. To prevent this what I do is black out the cvv number in my credit cards.As the cvv number is just 3 digits, its very easy to memorise it for the fraudster.

    Neil / Reply
  8. A very cautionary and informative article for innocent people. Specially at this time of recession when more people are tempted to fraud due to financial pressures.
    Another safety arrangement is to get a alert on your mobile via SMS whenever a transaction is made with your credit card.
    The fact is that fraudsters are easily identified if persued by the victim of fraud.


    Suresh CN / Reply
    THANKS. R.Vinayakamurthy

    R.V.MURTHY / Reply
  10. This is a good article.

    vaishali / Reply
  11. What about the Credit Card providers themselves indulging in over billing by way of late fine, penal interest, etc. which has been brought to the notice of Finance Minister who also mentioned the same in one of his speeches. Further, the foreign mobile service providers also charge unduly in the name of Value Added Services which has been noticed by TRAI and issued warning to all service providers.

    India in the middle of economic transition and the lower middle and middle class are trying to catch up with the electronic and plastic economic transaction are being targeted by these companies in addition to the fraudsters and most of the people keep quite for more official type fraud to avoid any ridicule from the peers.

    Dr No / Reply
  12. One of the general tips suggested above is to sign on the reverse of the cardas soon as the holder receives it. I wonder how this protects to any etent theowner's interest.

    Over several years since I started usung credit/debit cards, one glaring fact I have noticed is that in none of the encashment stations at hotels, shops, railways et al , nobody checks whether the signature on the payslip tallies with the signature on the card. The card is scrolled and returned to the holder immediately. Then and then only the signature is obtained on the voucher. This is one reason why so many frauds take place.

    I think the issuers must instruct all concerned that signatures must be compared with those on the revrse of the card and then and then only the transaction completed.


    A. Ranganathan / Reply
  13. 1) Shoud CVV be erased/ defaced on card after memorising it. This will increase the prtection.
    2) Issuing bank conirm Transactions above some value limit or if high valu transactions are quick succassion, from Card Hoder (On mobile number
    or phone number given by thber given by the userCard Holder)

    R.V.AGATE / Reply
  14. Really useful article. Thanks.

    Suresh / Reply
  15. In continuation of my earlier comments following point also may be cosidered:
    3) CVV should not be printed on the card. Instead, like initial password,it should communicated separatetly to the Card Holder

    R.V.AGATE / Reply
  16. It is very informative artcle.

    Mazhar / Reply
  17. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Home Loans Search / Reply
  18. I really like your blog! You write some really wonderful articles. Thanks they are a great help!

    Valerie Williams / Reply
  19. I must say great article and well thought of as some loan articles are the same but this was a good solid read!

    Sheena Easton / Reply
  20. Another great article on your blog! I always like read your blog so I always come back for more.

    Emma Jones / Reply
  21. Some really usefull information here if you pay attention, thanks

    Richard / Reply
  22. Dear All,
    Sub Missuse of the Credit card
    I am working in a shop with a salary of Rs.2000/- per month. One day ICICI bank employee have come to my owner's shop and insisted me to take the card and told me that there will not be any charges levied to me for keeping it with me and it will be very useful. He requested me many times and told me that he will get Commission for the same. On repeated request I agreed and I gave him only my Driving license Xerox and after few days I got the card based on my driving License.
    After 2 years I got the bill for 25000/- from ICICI Bank which I was surprised and then realized that my card is missing and I have given immediately a Registered Letter reply stating that I have not used the same and I am not liable to pay for the same
    Now the Bankers are coming to my owner's shop and creating a nuisance and threatening me for the recovery of the money.
    It is negligence of the Shop keeper that he has not cross checked the signature on the card and on the receipt. And the Banker’s that they have issued me the card only on the basis of the driving license without checking my repayment capacity and my background i.e. IT Returns
    Now there is a threat on my Job and on me and I am not in a position to pay the amount.
    Can any one suggest me?

    Bohra Rajendra Jain / Reply
  23. Hi

    Why not make mandatory the photo of the card holder on the credit card like ICICI has done in case of my card. This would reduce many chances of misuse of lost card.

    Simple. I think that banks do not want to spend money in making cutomers more secure but instead very willing charge late finee, fees, and resort to overbilling.

    baljeet / Reply
  24. Adding just a bit of technical stuff to this good article.

    I tried to blank out the CVV number on the reverse of my credit card. I realized that the number at the back also ( at least on my credit card !) is not printed, but embossed. So if you merely use a marker pen to blank it off, that is not good enough, you can still read the CVV number under a bright light.

    So I took a sharp paper-cutter knife and scratched on the number, horiziontally, vertically and diagonally, till my nephew ( who is the gangster in the house) can read it no more.

    Hope this helps.

    oceanite / Reply
  25. Thanks for your information. Please continue to give such information.

    PVMurty / Reply
  26. This is very good suggession as I think everybody who have a credit card let know about this.

    Sanjib Debnath / Reply
  27. your can request the bank to provide a copy of the original bills that are used for purchases, provided they are used at outlets.It seems you have not kept your card safely. one more thing is that only use of the card for the first time the card gets activated.Responsibility lies both on you and also on the bank.if you had informed the bank of loss of card immeditatly your liability is limited to Rs2500/ only .Some banks even have nil libility . please check out . Such thing are happenig as the prospective card holders in a hurry of getting money is not reading the conditions laidown in the application. please take an application of icici bank and read the conditions.

    Ravi / Reply
  28. in europe and in USA whenever i prsented my credit card, not only me but everybody was asked for the identity proof, once the shopkeeper is sure of the identity of the person and the holder of the credit card is same there is no risk, why not have same procedure here??
    anybody who is given a credit card by the bank must be having some proof of identity, it will be much safer for everyone if this is started in india also

    mohan uttam / Reply
  29. Credit card should have the photograph of the card- holder. The member establishments should verify the photograph as well as the signature on the card before the transactions are put though. This may eliminate the fraudulent use of stolen card to a large extent.
    As regards misuse at the ATM, a camera placed in the ATM may facilitate in tracing the culprit.
    Card issuing banks should have a dedicated telephone line for reporting loss of cards.The present " press one "" "press two" system , allows the fraudsters sufficient lead time to complete his deeds.In a way the banker is facilitating the culprit in such a case.

    girish / Reply
  30. The info. is quite usefull! But one must try & avoid using it online by
    giving cvv no.

    vijay / Reply
  31. Hi Rajendra , I really sad for you if you didn't used any money from it and they asked you to pay 25000/rs .it may be , you might had done few 5-10 thousands total transactions as small amounts and as their interest rates are so much high approx 3.5 5% per month n they charge compound interest in next month . So it might be increased along with heavy interest rates in two years and you didn't pay single return payment or done few n spent more ? As you are saying ICICI bak guy requested you repeatdly to take it . You might had thought lets see what happened if I dont pay them money and what more they can do better than ask n ask to pay ..and you are also not in a big firm , you can swtich off your job any time when they pressurise! If it really true ….i will suggest you to Watch a Hindi movie ''EMI''
    …lolz kidding .But in case you are 100 % innocent which i hardly believe then i will suggest you to lodge a complain of missing your credit card in nearest police station , which is too much delayed now but you can try and if recovery people torture you over phone and visiting your place go simply to Consumer Forum.But let me tell you if you right then only go otherwise Bank will proove their point and you might have to pay more of 25000/Rs as penalty.Hope you understood my points .Dont take anything on heart we are Delhite ….jo Dil me aaya aur sahi laga bol dete hain yaar !!

    Amit / Reply
    • Hai,
      People write their problems so that some one having ideia can give right suggestions. If you donot have such pratical answers than please dont share your feelings. I need practical solution to my problem but not your feelings dear. please dont waste time in writing big essays.
      Please share your Experience/knowledge but not feelings.

      Anonymous / Reply(in reply to Amit)
  32. Nice to read the guidelines for safety.It should be a routine observance. I agree that cvv numbers be not printedon the card.It be communicated separately like pin numbers.

    D.C.Verma / Reply
  33. Sad to Hear,

    Register a case, and the same can be disputed and bank can take action and save u from the crisis.


    Laxmikanth / Reply
  34. useful article

    A P SHAKILA BANU / Reply
  35. If someone can tell me that if i erase some digits from the 16 digit numbers than :- 1. will that card be useful for atm withdrawls 2. will that card be useful for payment at merchant shops .

    Actually I never use my card for payments at shops . I use it only for ATM withdrawls and net payments.So from my three cards I carry only one with me for ATM withdrawls ant for the other two I have memorised all the details which I use On Net.
    So If I can use the card in an ATM than I will delete the digits from the main 16 digits.

    And yes I have also deleted the CVV number illegibly.

    amit jain / Reply
  36. Using PIN same as in using ATM cards is a good idea. Why not the card issuers install electronic signature pads at POS, as is the practice abroad?

    Erasing the CVV or otherwise blocking that number is a good idea.


    Natarajan / Reply(in reply to )
  37. you can creatre a secure 3d 6 digit pin and when any one will use card for internet purchase firts it will ask for 6 digit pin so no use of cvv no even if stolen

    bhuwan / Reply(in reply to )

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