Credit cards are surely one of the most efficient financial products out there. They make life more convenient if you have to cover an emergency regardless of whether you’re at home or abroad.
They are lightweight, don’t take up any bulk and using them often earns you points which can be redeemed for all kinds of useful products and services. On top of this, they are widely-accepted both in stores and online.
The widespread use of credit cards has a potentially dark side though; identity fraud.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada says that thousands of Canadians are victims of credit card fraud each year so following these tips to prevent credit card fraud is essential.
It may be tempting to allow people who are close to you to use your credit card but this is not advisable. You can’t necessarily monitor where they are spending and this could make you more vulnerable to attack.
Another obvious tip is to destroy a credit card as soon as it expires so that your details cannot be obtained. Some paper shredders are strong enough to cut through the plastic but otherwise a pair of decent scissors should do the job.
Take care online
Shopping online has a host of advantages, the most obvious of which is convenience. It’s no wonder then that shopping online has risen considerably over the past few years but what risks does this open you up to?
To make your online shopping experience a secure as possible you should only use what are called ‘secure’ web pages. You know this is the case if the address starts with ‘https’ (the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’).
Also, if there is a locked padlock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of the browser you are shopping on a secure web page. Don’t be fooled by padlock symbols in other areas of the webpage as these could be an attempt to make a fraudulent site appear legitimate.
It’s wise to choose a credit card provider which takes your security seriously and offers necessary support and advice in the event of identity theft.
Credit cards are protected through a sophisticated screening network which can spot transactions which look unusual and potentially fraudulent.
Under a ‘Fraud Protection Guarantee’, an Amex customer will not be held responsible for any charges which are fraudulent if they have been responsible about protecting their card details.
This kind of scheme is worth its weight in gold for your peace of mind.
Set aside a regular time to check credit card transaction receipts against your statement.
Doing this online every week is recommended as it will give you the chance to keep on top of any irregularities.
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One tip I’ve been given for online shopping is to have a card dedicated to those type of purchases. That way it is easier to monitor the card activity and catch if anything suspicious is happening. Then you could keep another card for other types of purchases. Thanks for the great post!
Something we don’t often think about is how our digital footprint is permanent, and that our online activity can almost always be tracked. Fortunately most major credit cards offer fraud protection as long as you stay on top of your statements and point out unusual activity when it comes up. That is why being a little anal about checking your statements and balance can come in very handy.
American Express is a great card that covers a lot of these potential issues. They have amazing customer services that quickly deals with suspicious charges. I’ve always been impressed with the way they handle customer issues.