What to do When Your Account is Under an Attack?

By | May 1, 2012

No matter how cautious you are, you still cannot be 100% sure that your credit card or debit card cannot be under attack. However, constant vigilance can only help you avert any such fraudulent practices. One must be careful when they are using plastic cash not only for online transactions but also while they are using them in the offline mode i.e. at PoS (Point of Sale) terminals in shops, hotels, malls etc.

It is completely absurd if one has to borrow a loan or any other type of debt to pay debt on your credit card. It only creates a long term implications on your finances and can hamper your pursuit when it comes to further borrowing of debt in future.

Taking into consideration the online transaction safety provisions, RBI has gone the extra mile and introduced the Dual-factor authentication process thereby making online transactions a much safer haven for individuals to transact. Similar processes are being utilized so that individuals using their credit or debit card are secured in the offline mode as well.

At Point of Sale (PoS) terminals:

Most of the time it has been observed, individuals hand over their credit card to the staff in a hotel or any other place to do the routine of swiping your card and return back with the counterfoil. Most people are under the assumption; once they sign the counter foil, their transaction is secure. However that is not true. The possibility of your card to be duplicated with the information provided on the magnetic strip cannot be ruled out. The reason why the card holder is required to sign the counterfoil is for the merchant to compare the signature on the foil and on the card in order to authenticate the user, which most merchants forget to do so.

The best way of safe guarding yourself from a fraud at a PoS, is to by ensuring that your card has been swiped in your presence. Also it is your responsibility to check the amount on the transaction slip and ensure that you have only spent the same amount. Retention of the payment slips is extremely important as it can help you to cross check with your monthly statement.
Most of the ATMs do not provide a screen or a partition in order to block the other person’s view from viewing your PIN while you are entering it. Therefore in case your card is stolen, there can be a high risk to the funds present in your account from being stolen since your card and your PIN number is with the hacker.

In such situations it is important that you keep your hand above the keypad and enter in your PIN number so that no third person or even the CCTV camera cannot detect.

In the virtual world

Most customers these days fall prey to phenomena called phishing.  In phishing what happens is people who engage in fraudulent practices trick customers to disclose their user ids and passwords by stating that they are ABC bank officials or even better the regulator.

As a prudent individual, you must realize that no bank or its officials have any business to do with your user id and password.  Therefore it is silly to fall prey to such traps. In order to ensure that that the site from which you want to proceed with your shopping request, is authentic or not, run a check to see if the URL is authentic or not. Fake websites follow the practice of two factor authentication process whereby you as a customer need to enter 2 passwords in order to facilitate the transaction.
Foreign websites
it is quite difficult to determine whether a foreign website is genuine or not and also the possibility of a two factor authentication process may not be mandatory for them. The banks situated in India both national and foreign fall under the purview of the RBI. However the banks situated abroad do not fall under its purview.

Bu the process of carrying out an online transaction is carried in the same procedure; once you finish shopping you will be required to provide your credit card number, its expiry date, and CVV number. However, if the website is genuine and that particular transaction does not involve a forex outgo, the website will not ask for a second additional password.

Protect your CVV
Most credit card holders although they do realize that the CVV is the main parameter based on which their transaction is authenticated and finalized, sometimes tend to commit silly mistakes which can turn out to be really expensive at the end.

In situation where you are required to submit copies of your credit card or debit card, both front and back, it is important that you strike off the CVV or the CVC number.

Avoid public spaces
It is not advised for customers to carry out their credit card or debit card transactions using public computers especially cyber cafes. Therefore it is always best to use your personal computers so that the possibility of hacking into your account is minimized.

The best way you can step up your compute protection is by installing antivirus software and internet protection software so that you will be warned about those sites that are not authentic.

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