How to Protect Against Credit Card Fraud

02 August 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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How to Protect Against Credit Card Fraud

Purchasing goods online can be a source of credit card fraud; however, simple measures and vigilance can keep you away from trouble.

Always conduct online transactions from password protected computers and disable internet settings that auto-fill credit card information. Every legitimate site should have a secure payment mechanism, but how can you be sure...? A good indication is the url, this should begin with https and the task bar at the bottom should feature a lock.

Make use of the fact that Visa and MasterCard credit operators have online verification facilities which secure internet transactions by seeking a user-defined password.

Be alert for phishing, a trick in which spam or pop-ups mimic legitimate banks or businesses to obtain your personal information, which they use to access your accounts.

By law, most credit cards providers are required to send you paper statements. Not only is it important that you do the obvious and check them for discrepancies, but often more importantly dispose of them sensibly. Shred sensitive documents and be aware that aside from outdated bank statements, credit card applications and bills, some junk mail can also contain sensitive personal information that can be used by a fraudster.

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from fraud one consolation is that credit cards have better guarantees under federal law than online payment services or debit cards, so always use them preferentially after verifying a site’s genuine.

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