Home Insights & Advice How to protect yourself from online card fraud

How to protect yourself from online card fraud

by John Saunders
4th Nov 21 5:15 pm

Online payments have become increasingly popular in today’s world. Most importantly, with the onset of the pandemic, more and more people are choosing online payment options as they avoid the hazards of touching, often give amazing discounts and are very feasible with online shopping. So, an online payment is basically an electronic exchange of money which the buyer has to give to the seller while purchasing a good or a service. There are various ways to pay online but irrespective of the method, an allied bank account is mandatory. This bank account must have net-banking facilities. So, via this you can simply transfer money from your account to the seller’s bank account. The most common methods used in online payment are credit and debit cards. However, there are quite a few other options like direct bank transfers, a variety of e-wallets like PayPal and amazon pay, bitcoins and so on.

Online card payment is now accepted everywhere- from amazon to your local grocery shop, from real estate agents to electric bill payments. As a result, people use online payment in a variety of activities- from receiving their salary, paying rent and bills, doing both online and offline shopping, phone recharge- and what not! In fact, with the development of the online casino industry, online card payment is becoming widely accessible there too. Online payment avoids a lot of unnecessary hassles that might arise when people gamble in person. The system is automated. Moreover, the process is extremely easy. All you need to do is enter your 3-digit CVV number, your date of birth, the expiry date of your card and the amount that you are paying to the seller. Once you get the reduction from your account message from the bank, your transaction is complete.

However, since credit and debit cards are so widely used these days, chances of being set upon by fraudsters are not extraordinary. There have been cases where the user has clicked on magnet links, have got technically hacked and lost all savings in the bank accounts. So, one needs to be particularly cautious while handling any transactions, especially if one uses multiple bank accounts and cards. It is also important to ensure that the seller to whom the transaction is being made is a trusted source.

The following are a few facts that one must keep in mind while using cards for online payment:

Regularised checks

Every now and then, log into your bank account, check the balance and check the list of transactions made. In case you find any unauthorised transaction about which you are pretty clueless, immediately contact your card issuer to either nullify the transaction or block the card.

Set up alerts for transactions

The user can add a level of security apart from checking the credit card accounts manually. Transaction alerts can be set up. These might be useful to alert the user in case there is a transaction which surpasses the set limit, or an international transaction, bank transfer request and so on.

Freeze the credit

By enabling this, access to credit reports are restricted. So, fraudsters cannot open new accounts in the original user’s name. Cards must be frozen with all three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax as well as TransUnion.

Look for credit monitoring services

If you have a potential fraud in your credit reports, monitor services like those at CreditWise and IdentityForce can make the user alert about it. Therefore, immediate actions can be taken to protect every kind of personal information.

Get in touch with an identity theft protection service

Services like Identity Guard and LifeLock help the user to remain protected against identity thefts. These services regularly check through the dark web, alerts the user of any kind of data breaches if that has occurred, as well as traces if a social security number has been misused.

Never use public WiFi while making transactions

Users must abstain themselves from using any public WiFi from a café or any public spot because such networks are absolutely not secured and losing data might be very easy. Fraudsters can easily trace your transactions made over a public WiFi and hack your device, and thereby your bank account. Most online banking apps, hence, do not allow transactions to be made by using any WiFi connection.

Always check that the website begins with a “https”

Before making any transaction, the user must check whether the website starts with a “https”. This ensures that the site is secured and not a fraud magnet link.

Never accept spam texts or calls

Users must avoid opening texts or accepting calls from unknown users, and in case they ask for credit card details, users must immediately block them. It is important to note banks or card issuers never make such calls or send such texts.

Proper verification of social media sites

These days while scrolling through social media, one finds various sponsored advertisements promising deals from big business houses. One must never click on them because they can again be magnet links clicking which might make your card details vulnerable to a hacker. So, the user can simply do a search engine run and then go for it!

Never save any of your credit card information

If we make regular transactions or do shopping from a single or a few selected devices, the device may ask for saving our credentials to save time during a later use. One must never go for it in a cyber café. However, it is advisable not to opt for any device at all, even if personal. If the bank details, passwords, CVV number aren’t saved in the phone, then even if the phone is lost or hacked, the bank account has reduced chances to be hacked.

Use very strong passwords

This is an extremely old but golden rule which never loses its importance. The user must set a password as unique as possible such that nobody can trace it. Moreover, one must regularly change passwords and never save them on any device.

So, now that you know about all this, be extra careful and take note of the aforementioned tips to save yourself from hackers and frauds. Be safe and keep on transacting.

 

Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org

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