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As technology progresses, credit card fraud has become a real danger in today’s online-based society. Imagine one morning waking up to charges you didn’t make and hefty overdraft fees. While there’s no guarantee you’ll never be a victim, here are 5 ways you can try and prevent credit card fraud.

 

#1: Secure Your Computer Systems

Cyber criminals can steal your financial details by hacking into your computer or phone. If you do your banking online (like most people these days), it’s vital to stay digitally protected against spyware and viruses. Hackers can infiltrate your computer through web browsers, emails, or infected files, potentially compromising your personal data.

It’s a good idea to install anti-virus software to safeguard your digital devices. Be sure to avoid clicking on links in spam or scam emails and try not to visit or do your online shopping on websites with questionable security.

 

#2: Look for Security Certificates

Checking the padlock icon in the internet bar is the simplest way to know if you’re accessing a protected site. Also make sure that the web address in the address bar starts with ‘https’ to confirm you are indeed on a secure web page.

Transport Layer Security (TLS), and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) are features of a website used for sensitive information encryption, providing data integrity and privacy between a web browser and a server over a computer network. Upon installation, security certificates activate the https protocol and padlock, which enable secure connections between browsers and web servers.

 

#3: Beware Identity Theft

Your identity is one of the most valuable assets you possess. It’s important to ensure no one uses your personal information, such as your name, social security number, or credit card number.

To protect your identity, destroy any documents that may contain personal details such as your birthday, address, and tax file number. Sensitive documents include bank correspondence (bank account or credit card statements) and any documents or letters from the government.

Opportunists can also access your letterbox. Secure your mailbox with a lock or use a PO Box. If you’re going away for a long time, make sure to either have a trusted person collect your mail for you or put a hold on it.

 

#4: Be Careful at ATMS

Criminals are known to hang around ATMs looking to steal credit card details and security pins. To protect yourself, always cover the ATM keypad and look around if someone’s lurking when you enter your PIN.

There’s also skimming to worry about. This is done with a card skimmer, a small electronic device that can be fitted to ATMS or handheld to intercept data and steal pin and credit card numbers. Minimise your risk of skimming by inspecting the ATM card reader to see if it’s been tampered with.

 

#5: Stay Informed of Scams

Most people would never think they’d fall victim to a fraud or scam. However, this mindset is what the scammers target. Thousands of scams happen every day but keeping up to date with the latest fraud or scams will help you avoid becoming a casualty.

It’s important to always be vigilant. Look out for suspicious emails asking you for personal details or requesting you to click on a link or open an attachment. You should also review your credit card statements monthly to check for any bizarre details. If you think you’ve been scammed, inform your financial institution at once and report it to both the authorities and the ACCC (via Scamwatch).

If you liked this article, learn more about Credit Cards for Beginners.