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    Credit Card Fraud Protection Tips

    Earlier this year, Singapore has been reported as having the 6th highest rate of credit card fraud in the world. 1 out of 3 Singaporeans are victims of credit card fraud according to a survey conducted by ACI Worldwide (electronic banking and payments solution firm) and Aite Group. Within the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore has the 3rd highest rate of credit card fraud, just behind Australia and India.

    Now that you know where our country stands with credit card fraud, keeping your card and the sensitive information on it secure should be among your top priorities. If ignored, you will pay for it, literally.

    Here are some steps that you can take to Protect your Credit Card from fraud:

    Keep a close watch on your monthly statements

    When you receive your monthly statements for your credit card, do not just look at the outstanding balance due and make the payment. It is a good habit to go over your expenses for the last month not just to know where you are spending or how much you have been spending but also to see if it was actually you that made those purchases. Fraudsters are not foolish. They might start small to throw you off their scent for a while when they get a hold of your credit card information. Hence, you need to be twice as careful to catch any unauthorized transactions on your card before it is too late. Monitoring your monthly statements is the best way to do that.

    Go paperless on your statements. Instead of receiving paper statements sent to your address every month, request your bank for electronic statements so no one can get a hold of your credit card information through such statements.

    Do not disclose your PIN, User ID or Password to a third party

    It is one thing to share your email ID and password with someone (ideally you shouldn’t be doing that either) but a whole other thing to share your credit card User ID and Password. Do not disclose any sensitive information regarding your credit card to a third party. Do not use the same password for your online banking as that for your emails, Facebook account, online shopping websites and other online media. Don’t ever leave your online/internet banking session unattended, always log out after you are done with a session. If you feel like your credit card information has been disclosed to a third party, then immediately contact your bank regarding the same to prevent any unauthorized use of your card.

    Protecting your desktop when using internet banking to check credit card information

    If you login to your online/internet banking account through your desktop, then it is important to install anti-spy and anti-virus software on your computer. You should additionally turn on the setting for automatic updates so your system is always up-to-date. Never open emails from unknown sources or install software from suspicious origins. Do not perform any online transactions from a computer that you suspect is compromised or even a computer belonging to an unfamiliar person. Routinely delete any junk, spam or chain emails as they may contain virusesvirus.

    Related Read: How to use credit cards for online shopping

    Protecting your phone when using mobile banking to check credit card information

    As it is much easier to misplace or lose your phone than a computer, you need to take extra care of your phone when you use mobile banking. The first thing that you must do to secure your card information on your phone is to activate the password function. Use a different password for your phone from other passwords. If you are using a numeric password, never make the mistake of using your credit card PIN as the passcode for your phone. Constantly change your password. Turn on the “Erase Data” function on your phone if it is available. This function will delete all data pertaining to invalid password attempts so even if you lose your phone, the sensitive data on it will not be compromised.

    Preventing credit card fraud at ATMs

    There are 3 common types of ATM fraud:

    • Card Fraud – This occurs when someone uses your credit card information or your credit card without your authorization to perform transactions.
    • Card Skimming – This occurs when someone fits an illegal device on an ATM to steal a user’s personal banking information.
    • Theft of credit card PIN – This occurs when someone steals your PIN and uses it at an ATM.

    To prevent any kind of ATM fraud, the first and foremost thing to do is to use ATMs in safe locations and only those that are well lit because ATMs are constantly under surveillance. While approaching an ATM, if you see anyone suspicious, use another ATM. When inputting your PIN on the machine, always shield it with your hand so no one can see what digits you are keying in. If you have requested for a receipt, then either tear it up after you have a look at it and then throw it in the bin or take it with you. Never leave your receipt lying around at or around the ATM. Do not reveal your ATM card PIN to anyone.

    What has Singapore done to curb credit card fraud in the country?

    Replacing magnetic stripe cards with EMV chip cards (announced by the ABS):

    In 2010, the ABS (The Association of Banks in Singapore) adopted enhanced credit card security measures for greater protection against fraud. Magnetic stripe cards were replaced with EMV chips for better protection against fraudulent activities. EMV has been globally recognized as a security standard for chip card technology. A chip card offers more security than a magnetic stripe card. This is because magnetic stripes can be cloned but a chip card has a microprocessor chip that comes with an encryption that will prevent any information on it from being duplicated.

    Upon announcing the incorporation of this technology on all credit and debit cards in March 2010, today all cards in Singapore have been replaced with EMV chips. Many ATM cards also have a chip variant.

    Transaction Alerts (introduced by the MAS)

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore added this security measure to prevent credit card fraud where you can sign up for transaction alerts either through your phone (SMS) or via emails. Upon signing-up for this service, you can set a predefined value for your transactions and if any transaction made on your card exceeds this threshold amount, you will immediately receive a transaction alert. Transaction alerts will also be sent if your bank suspects any fraudulent transactions made on your card. If you receive any such alerts, you must immediately contact your bank.

    Although credit card fraud is rampant throughout the world, so are the measures to prevent them. Make a conscious effort to keep your credit card safe and your card information secure which can prevent you from being the next victim of credit card fraud.

    Also Read: Important Safety Tips for Credit Card Users

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