In 2018, fraud involving debit and credit cards grew by 2.3 percent in Australia. This is costing Aussies over $500 million every year.
The industry is committed to tackling fraud to protect consumers thanks to initiatives, such as fraud protection and prevention tools for merchants, Chip-and-PIN technology, ATM anti-skimming devices, and the CNP Fraud Mitigation Framework.
As a consumer, you also have to play your part in ensuring better debit and credit card security. There’s a lot you can do to protect your cards, and most of it is just a matter of common sense.
Here are the tips you should be using.
1. Be Careful at the ATM
While withdrawing money at the ATM, beware of your location and surroundings. Always avoid using ATMs in deserted areas when you’re alone, particularly at night. Instead, use ATMs located in open public spaces and inside banks.
Also, always check the condition of the ATM. If it seems damaged or tampered with, don’t use it. In such states, it possible that a criminal has installed a skimmer to gather card details. If your transaction fails, seek help from the bank or card provider before making several withdrawal attempts.
Remember to put your card and money away before leaving the ATM.
2. Keep Your Card Details Safe
With online transactions, a criminal only needs your card number, expiry date, and CVV number to steal your money.
For that reason, learn to keep your card details private, especially when in public. Don’t give your details to anyone over the phone unless it’s a person, bank, or merchant you trust. Never respond to any email that asks for your personal information and card details.
Avoid using your debit cards as they don’t offer optimal protection like credit cards. You should also avoid making transactions using public Wi-Fis and open networks. Don’t share your card details where others can listen to them and never post photos of your card anywhere.
3. PIN Safety Measures
Some people tend to keep their PINs in the same wallet or purse with their cards. In this case, when you lose your purse or wallet, it’s easy for a person to access your money. Also, never write the PIN on the back of your card.
Never share your PIN with anyone as you’re the only person who needs to know it. When choosing a PIN for your card, avoid numbers or combinations that are easy to guess, such as your birth year or graduation year.
Whenever you’re typing your PIN anywhere, make sure no one sees it. Learn to change your PIN regularly, and never use the same PIN for all of your cards.
4. Monitor Your Account and Review Statements
Develop a habit of monitoring your account and reviewing your statements. Banks and card providers have mobile apps and online accounts for managing your card. Whenever you use the card, always note down the balance.
Check your statements to ensure there are no unauthorized charges and transactions. If you notice any – don’t hesitate to report them and close the card.
The growing popularity of cards has also fueled the growth of theft and fraud. So, once you get a credit or debit card, it’s your responsibility to ensure it’s always safe. Whether you’re shopping online, withdrawing money at the ATM, or paying through Point of Sale (POS), be careful of how you use the card.
Also, keep your cards away from magnets as they can erase the information stored on the magnetic strip.