Preventing credit card fraudIn June 2013, another Malaysian reportedly fell victim to credit card fraud.
The debt totalled RM200,000.
In the same report, MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Michael Chong shared that the department had received complaints regarding 13 cases of credit card fraud amounting to RM662,000 in 2013.
The numbers are scary and worse still; it could happen to anyone.
Fraud can happen in different ways.
There are a few tried and true methods fraudsters employ (though this is increasing as we type).
The following are some of the most common:
Cloning the victim’s credit card for use or swapping with the victim’s real card;
Through unsecured online transactions;
Through phone calls and emails posing as financial institutions to elicit credit card and other banking information;
Pick-pocketing, bag snatching and other modes of thievery.
Best practices to prevent credit card fraud
Although there is no 100% guarantee on any anti-fraud measure; some best practices can go a long way in securing your credit card against fraudsters.
1. Always pay attention to your surroundings and carry your wallet in a place hard to reach by pickpockets.
2. When paying with your card, pay attention to the cashier and people nearby. Always check that your card has been safely returned to you before leaving.
3. Keep your credit card details and bank phone number separate from your wallet so should the wallet go missing, you will be able to quickly call the bank to have your cards cancelled.
4. Keep transaction receipts to compare at the end of the month with your statement. Fraudulent transactions can be in small amounts so people don’t notice.
During online transactions
1. Ensure that your browser is secure when banking, making payments for online purchases or checking statements. Install good antivirus and anti-spy software.
2. Check that the page on which you are entering your payment details has adequate security encryption.
The minimum is a 112-bit encryption but some sites (especially banks and payment channels) use 256-bit and above.
3. Where possible, use a secure third party payment channel that is credible (such as Paypal, Ipay88 or MOLpay) instead of giving your credit card details to small merchants and various online stores.
4. Again, keep whatever receipts you have from payments made online to compare with your bill at the end of the month.
5. Sign up for extra security measures such as SecureCode by MasterCard or Verified by Visa.
General best practices
1. Upon receiving a new credit card, sign the back strip before using it.
2. Never reveal your PIN, CVC code or credit card number to anyone on the phone – not even a bank or anyone claiming to be linked to your bank.
No bank will ask you for these details over phone – not even for verification.
3. Sign up for SMS notification for any transaction so you will be informed when your credit card is used.
4. If you have lost your credit card, take note of the date and time and inform the bank personnel as soon as you call to cancel.
5. Premium credit cards often offer insurance against fraudulent purchases.
Find out if yours has such a feature and sign up.
6. Check out Bank Negara’s write-up on keeping yourself safe from credit and debit card fraud.
Credit cards offer unparalleled convenience but also new risks. Keep yourself safe.
This was brought you by Diana Chai from RinggitPlus.com.
RinggitPlus compares credit cards, debit cards, balance transfers and personal loans to help Malaysians get more for their money.-FMT