BE PROTECTED - Fraud prevention
Keeping your credit safe
Credit card, ATM (automatic teller machine) and internet fraud is a growing problem. And while it can be difficult to keep track of all the latest credit card frauds, if you know how to protect yourself, you will be able to take back control of your finances.
First and foremost, always act promptly if any of your cards are lost or stolen - most thieves use stolen credit cards within 48 hours. Urgent action could minimise any loss.
Regularly check your statements – both print and online, to ensure that all the transactions are actually yours. If you notice any problems, contact your credit provider immediately.
Credit cards can be like a blank cheque, so be careful about how and when you use them. Never lend them to anyone, and never leave your cards or receipts lying around. Taking a few simple precautions can save you from being a victim of credit card fraud or theft.
- Keep your cards in a safe place – and check regularly that you still have them.
- Store your card numbers and phone number of the credit provider in a safe place – not in your wallet. You may need these details if the card is lost or stolen.
- Don’t keep a written record of your PIN (personal identification number).
- Don’t give your credit card account details over the phone unless the organisation is reputable - and the call was initiated by you.
- Always compare your receipts to your monthly statements. Errors must be reported immediately or you may be liable for the disputed amount.
- Carry only the cards you need, especially when travelling. Ensure that what you leave behind is secure.
- Avoid letting your card out of your sight. Card details can be electronically copied (known as skimming) by criminals working in retail or service industries. If possible, accompany your card to the register where possible to minimise the risk.
- Read the voucher you sign. It is difficult to dispute a transaction you have signed for.
- Keep copies of your vouchers. They are your record of the transaction.
- Sign your credit card with a pen as soon as you receive it.
- Once your old card has expired, cut it diagonally in half before disposing of it. This minimises the risk of the number being copied.
- Immediately report any lost or stolen cards to your credit providers. This will both minimise the risk and reduce the inconvenience.
- When you report a card as lost or stolen, be sure to ask for a receipt number and keep record of when and how you reported the loss in case there is any dispute at a later date.