(Originally published on my frugal blog on June 30 2008)
I got these tips from Citibank, my credit card company a couple of weeks ago. I would advise every credit card holder to read through this list prevent credit card fraud.
1. Take Action When Receiving New Cards
When you receive your new credit card or a renewed card:
- Check that the card is in your name, and that the sealed package has not been tampered with. Immediately contact your bank if there is a problem.
- Please destroy your old/expired/unusable card by cutting it into several pieces ensuring that the chip and magnetic stripe portion is completely damaged immediately upon the receipt of your renewal credit card.
- Immediately sign on the signature panel at the back of your card upon receipt
2.Protect Your PIN
When you receive your PIN:
- Check that the sealed envelope has not been tampered with. Immediately call your bank if the seal is broken or opened.
- Memorize your PIN immediately and destroy the PIN envelope. Go to the nearest Branch/ATM to change your PIN.
3. Using your Card at Retail Outlets
When you’re shopping or using your credit card:
- Treat, value and protect your card as if it was cash, keep your card secured and ensure that it is in your possession at all times.
- Check and ensure that the card you received after a transaction at a merchant is yours.
- Ensure that you authorize all use of credit card (face to face or on Phone/Internet).
- Void incorrect charge slips before you sign a new one.
4. Online Usage
When you use your credit card to shop online:
- Give your credit card details only on reliable websites and is from a company you trust. Reputable merchant sites use encryption technologies to protect your card information.
- Avoid using a public computer to shop online. If you do, please remember to log off and quit the browser when you are finished. All it takes is for someone to hit the “back button” to view your personal information.
- Always print and save the confirmation page when completing an online purchase. Record or keep your receipts for all your purchases including online purchases.
5. Managing Your Card Statements
To protect your credit card information, you also need to take steps to protect your credit card statements:
- Secure your letter mailbox, promptly collect your mail and be vigilant for identity theft.
- If you do not receive your credit card statements on time, please report to your bank promptly.
- Shred all documents (charge slip, statement etc) that contains card details before you discard them.
- Promptly check your credit card statement and report immediately if there are any transactions that you do not recognize or unauthorized by you.
6. Stolen or Lost Credit Cards
To prevent fraud when your credit card is lost, do the following:
- Keep the bank phone numbers readily available with you to immediately report any lost or stolen card, failing which you shall be liable in full for any unauthorized transactions affected through the use of your credit card.
- Report to your bank if your card is lost or stolen.
- Check your credit cards periodically to ensure that the cards are not missing from your wallet.
- Sign-up for Card Protection if offered by your bank which helps report all your cards (including those issued by other banks) with just one call if you lose your wallet.
7. Update Your Contact Details
Whenever your move or change phone numbers:
- Notify the bank in advance for any change in address if you move.
- Keep the bank updated with your latest hand-phone number and e-mail address to allow the bank to perform verification of unusual or suspicious transactions.
8. Beware of Scams
- Be suspicious of high-pressure sales tactics such as “SCRATCH & WIN” where they ask for your card details.
- If you received a call from a telemarketer, ask questions. The fewer questions the caller can answer, more likely they are calling from an illegitimate business.
9. Safeguarding Your Card
- Never leave your credit card in an unsecured place, lying around at home or in the office where someone can have access to it. If you do not want to use your card, keep it in a safe and secure place.
- Don’t leave your credit card in your glove compartment of your car to prevent card theft.
- Never sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through the blank spaces above the total.
- Do not lend your card to anyone. Your card is not transferable.
10. Safeguarding Your PIN and Personal Information
Here are some pointers for protecting your private details:
- When creating passwords and PINs, do not use anything obvious such as your date of birth, Identity Card no., etc. Do not record those numbers on anything in your wallet.
- Do not carry PIN with your card or disclose it to anyone.
- Never send account information, such as account number or PIN in an e-mail as it may be intercepted.
- Do not reveal personal details or your card details to any unknown party.
- Watch out for impostors that claim to be from the bank and ask to ?EURoeverify?EUR? your account details to make sure you are protected. The bank does not need your account details, it already has it.
11. Safeguarding Your Online Usage
When you use your credit card online:
- Never provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.
- Never provide your card information online unless you are making a purchase.
- Never respond to e-mails that request for your credit card information and don’t ever respond to e-mails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information.
- Never click on Internet links within e-mails. Instead, type the known URL.
- Be cautious about e-mails that offer credit services. Many unsolicited e-mails are fraudulent.
Please share these tips with people you know, especially those who are new to credit cards or new to online shopping.
It may save them a lot of headache in the future.
Photo: Steve Woods