Save Yourself from Fraud Traps

By | May 6, 2012

Although we all are aware that online transactions with credit cards are highly susceptible to net frauds, we continue to live in denial. Remember the times your heart jumped joyously when you received a mail from the Reserve Bank of India stating that your application for tax refund has been accepted and the RBI will themselves credit the amount in your account? All you have to do is fill in your credit card details and you will receive the amount in no time. If you do not question yourself about the reliability of such a transaction, then you might have just fallen prey to the online plague of net fraud. We all know the importance of non disclosure of credit card details in an offline forum, especially in online platform. Yet, we still choose to ignore all such facts, and conveniently put out privacy at stake. One must remember that the Reserve Bank of India, the Income Tax department and even your bank will never ask you the credentials of your credit card by mails or in an online platform. Thus, on receipt of any such fraudulent mails, all you need to do is press the delete button immediately. Another common ploy to dupe credit card users online is by informing that they have a lottery worth millions of dollars and they require your bank or credit card account details to transfer such an amount to your bank. Other fraudulent mails can aim to pull at the strings of your heart, citing situations wherein people are in desperate need of money as they have been stranded in an unknown place and so on. Opting for a personal loan or any other kind of loan to finance such liabilities should definitely not be your option in a situation where you might be cash strapped. Therefore report any fraud as it comes to your notice.

Credit card users need to understand that no matter what the circumstances are, their credit card credentials must never be compromised. Crimes like phishing that involve fraudulent e-mails and phishing that involve fake phone calls and voice messages, theft of information from the magnetic stripe of a credit card, or theft of the PIN are an all-time high in the country today. If you are a frequent flyer, then you may be more prone to credit card crimes like counterfeiting than in a domestic arena. The reason behind this is quite simple – sophistication of operation. Customers need to be wary of using their credit cards on foreign websites as the two-factor authentication of password is applicable by the Reserve Bank of India only on Indian banks. Sometimes, banks may be generous to block the existing credit cards of customers and may issue new cards to them on their arrival from high-risk foreign countries. These days, it isn’t difficult to find out any fishy transactions as banks understand the spending pattern of their customers. If any big value purchase has been made by the customer in any part of the world, the band rings up the customer and verifies the same with him. With banks taking several steps to put an end to crimes at the ATM such as the introduction of biometric ATMs, the crime rate is likely to spiral down in the future. Also, when fraudulent transactions are immediately reported to the bank, chances are that you may not be charged for such a transaction. As your card is being swiped at a machine, key in the PIN yourself. Never mention the PIN to any merchant as it leads to compromise of information. Get your email id and mobile number registered with your bank. It will help you acquire knowledge on any fraudulent transaction immediately.

All credit card users need to exercise the following precautions while using credit cards. Never use your credit card in a public place like net cafes to carry out online transactions. Your credit card stands at a higher risk of compromise owing to lack of security and anti-virus features that are installed on the computer. Never supply your personal information or credit card details to banks or other Government bodies online as phishing is another prominent credit card crime. Never respond to any such mails and immediately report them to the bank. In case you are transacting on foreign websites, use virtual cards due to the lack of security features installed on such websites. In this manner, you will be limiting the amount of funds in your credit card plus your credit card number will never be compromised. Even if miscreants get hold of your virtual card, it will not be reusable as it was created for one-time use.

Exercise caution while handing over your credit card copies to people. Although this may be mandatory for certain transactions, strike off your CVV number or Card Verification Value from the back of the card. When disposing your credit card, ensure that you cut the black magnetic strip in a diagonal fashion once it has been blocked. Never dispose transaction slips in a public dustbin and never give details of your account over the phone, with others within hearing vicinity. Also, remember to change your default password and ATM PIN as soon you receive them to ensure better privacy and safety.

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