Ways to prevent credit card fraud
Ways to prevent credit card fraud
How to avoid being a victim of credit card fraud and ways to spot criminal activity on your file.
Keep your card and PIN safe
The best thing to do is commit your PIN to memory and not write it down anywhere.
Whenever you use your debit or credit card, make sure you always shield your PIN. This is to stop fraudsters from peering over your shoulder and learning your PIN, and to stop hidden cameras from capturing it. Avoid storing PINs in your phone too, in case your phone is stolen.
Don’t carry all your cards around with you. If your wallet or bag is stolen, you don’t want to lose everything in one go. Keep cards you rarely use at home as a back-up.
Practise password hygiene
Always use strong passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. You should also change your passwords regularly.
The same goes for PINs – use a different combination for each card.
Only shop online at secure websites
If you’re shopping online, you should first check the site using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It’s an industry-standard encryption service that helps keep your data private. You’ll know if the site uses it because the web address will start with HTTPS, instead of HTTP.
Another thing to look for is the little padlock at the beginning of the web address, which most modern browsers have. It shows the site uses Transport Layer Security (TLS), securing your data further.
Take care with online banking
Always log out of online banking when you’ve finished, especially if you’re using a public computer.
Try not to use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions. It’s much safer to use your broadband connection at home. If you’re out and about, using mobile data on your phone is safer than using a Wi-Fi hotspot in a coffee shop or other public place.
Be wary of unsolicited emails and phone calls
Be suspicious if a company contacts you unexpectedly, asking you to re-confirm your credit card or other payment details.
Phone calls purporting to be from telecoms providers, HMRC, your bank and other organisations are often fraudulent. Hang up and call the company concerned before engaging with these calls.
Manage your mail
If you live in a building with a communal mailbox, watch out for letters going missing.
If you move house, redirect your post with Royal Mail to make sure you still receive your letters. You should also update your address with every organisation you have a relationship or account with.
Check your credit report regularly
Get into the habit of checking your credit report regularly.
You will be able to see if any searches have been carried out against your name and if any credit accounts have been opened.
You’ll also be able to check if there are any mistakes on your credit report and get these corrected.
Close old credit accounts
If you no longer use a credit card, simply chopping up your card isn’t enough. You also need to contact the credit card company to close down the account. You can spot these open accounts in your credit report.
Join CIFAS under protective registration
If you think your details have been stolen, you can join CIFAS under protective registration, extra measures will be in place to ensure you don’t fall victim to credit card fraud again. It costs £25 for two years to join CIFAS.
CIFAS protective registration means that whenever a credit application is made in your name, the lender will carry out more checks to make sure the application was made by you. The lender may contact you by phone.
Due to these extra measures, your credit applications might take longer.
See if you'll be accepted before you apply
Quick and easy to fill in your details.
Get a response in 60 seconds.
No impact on your credit rating.
Use your card sensibly — if you don’t make repayments on time or stay within your credit limit you will pay extra charges, forfeit the 0% offer and getting credit in the future may be harder and more expensive.