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    Credit Card Safety Tips

    Over the last few years, credit cards have evolved a lot. Most of the developments have been made to deter scams, online frauds, and other enhanced fraud techniques. However, all these advancements would be of no use if you are not careful while using your card. Credit card fraud can take place in various ways such as unauthorised use to high tech hacking. Other risks associated with credit card use include account takeover, triangulation, application fraud, and more.

    You must keep in mind the following tips if you wish to avoid getting scammed and stay safe:

    Never Share Your Personal Information  

    Let us be clear, no government agency, insurance provider or bank in Singapore will ask you for your personal information like your credit card details either over the phone or via email. If you ever get any call or mail asking you for your card details, do not get intimidated and immediately inform the concerned authorities. If you spell out your sensitive information over phone to a third party, you are likely to be scammed.

    Do Ensure That You Are Using Two-Factor Authentication

    As there have been incidents in the past where the personal information of people in Singapore has been stolen, it is important that you start using two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever it is available when making a credit card transaction online. This is often in the form of a one-time password sent to your registered mobile number via SMS or email. If the hackers cannot access your email or phone, your transactions will remain safe.

    Keep Your Bank Informed When You Go Abroad or if There Are Any Other Updates

    Whenever you take an overseas trip make sure you inform the bank about your trip before you leave as it will them identify fraud better. This will also be helpful to you. For instance, if your bank isn’t aware that you are in Indonesia currently, a transaction you make using your card could be blocked under the assumption that your card details have been compromised. You must also keep the card issuer updated about any change in your mailing address, email and mobile phone number. Otherwise mails/messages containing sensitive information could reach dangerous third parties who could use it to jeopardise your account. Also, do not forget to inform the card issuer if a merchant in Singapore carries out a magnetic stripe transaction instead of a chip-based transaction.

    Make Sure You Always Shop From Reputed Websites

    Whenever you are shopping online, make sure that you are shopping from reputed merchant websites as these websites have a robust mechanism of carrying out online transactions and your security will not be compromised. You must also check for a mobile alert or a confirmation email after you finish your transaction and see that the money paid has reached the merchant. Look for tell-tale signs if you come across a suspicious link. For example, check if the link ends with .com or .org and ensure that the URL or the web page address starts with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ here indicates that the website is secure.

    Go Through Your Credit Card Statement for Any Unusual Transactions

    If there has been a credit card fraud, your liability is limited to S$100 with all credit card companies in Singapore only if you have followed the correct procedure. So if you do not wish to pay for any unauthorised transactions, you must keep a tab on your credit statement for any unusual items. If you see any unauthorised transaction take the following steps immediately:

    • Immediately inform the bank about the theft, loss pertaining to the transaction.
    • Assist the bank in all possible ways regarding the unauthorised charges incurred.
    • Submit a police report to the bank together with a written confirmation of the loss in case of theft.

    If a family member is also using your card, keep each other informed about the transactions being carried out so you do not inadvertently report a genuine purchase. If you skim through your credit card transactions online every week, you will catch any unauthorised activities immediately.

    Remember: Your liability for any unauthorised transactions on your card will be limited to S$100 only after you have informed your bank regarding the loss/theft/disclosure (of PIN). You will be liable for all transactions (including fraudulent ones) until you inform the bank.

    Avoid Paying for Any Service in Advance

    If it is possible avoid paying for goods or services in advance. If you cannot avoid it because of compliance issues with policy terms, do ensure that you are not being taken for a ride. Not all credit cards offer purchase protection, hence, if your card does not have this feature, you will not be compensated for non-delivery, delivery of defective items, etc. If you are purchasing goods that require shipping, carry out the purchase only if the application or website is legitimate and the payment gateway is secure.

    Do Sign up With ‘My Credit Monitor’ Offered by the Credit Bureau of Singapore

    There have been instances wherein hackers have tried to apply for personal loans or new credit cards using your stolen personal data. If you wish to catch any such fraudulent activity, you can purchase ‘My Credit Monitor’. It is a service offered by the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) that alerts you whenever there is any update in your credit information. If you get an alert message when you have not applied for any loan or card, you must immediately inform the bank and prevent the loan or card application from getting approved. In addition to ‘My Credit Monitor’, you can also sign up for 3-D Secure which is a free online service aimed at making internet transactions secure by verifying the cardholder's identity at the time of purchase. Other small tips that you can use to prevent someone else from using your credit card are as follows:

    • Put your signature on your card with permanent ink as soon as you receive the card.
    • Do not lend your credit card to anyone including your close friends and family members.
    • Keep all your card-related information away from your card, so even if you lose your card, your card information will not be compromised.
    • Be very careful when you are using your credit card to withdraw money at an ATM and as far as possible avoid using it at an ATM.
    • Keep all your sales slips and do not discard them if you wish to match it with you billing statements.
    • Do not put your signature on blank sales slips.
    • Do not carry out online transactions in public cyber cafes.
    • Use a card with a lower credit limit when you make online transactions.

    With the rise in use of social media among people in Singapore, there have been instances of fake profiles being used to lure users to phishing sites, bogus mobile apps, and more. Hackers might pose as bank customer service officials and ask for your confidential information. Do not offer any information to anyone unless you have contacted them first via authentic channels.

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