Credit Card Security

Monday, April 30, 2012

Have you ever heard of someone mention that they had purchases made on their credit card that they were unaware of?  Credit card fraud is nothing new, but the ways in which criminals can gain your information is.  Financial institutions have gone to great lengths to protect credit cards against fraudulent activity, such as installing pin and chip technology, and as a consumer, you need to protect your credit card as well.

Criminals have advanced technology to skim or hack cards and this threatens all those using credit cards.  The unfortunate thing is, the more you use your credit card, the greater the threat of someone gaining your information and using it as their own.

There are a few measures that you can take to protect your credit card from being stolen or used in fraudulent ways.


      Owning and using credit cards requires due diligence.  Consumers need to be aware of the various threats when using credit cards, and how to protect against credit card fraud.

    • This may sound quite simple, but make sure you know where your card is!  Keep your credit card in a secure location, and when you do use it, watch what the terminal merchant does with the card.  Make sure that it only passes through the correct terminal.

    • Never disclose your pin to anyone, or record your pin on or near your credit card. 

    • Be wary when using pay pass terminals (such as at gas stations).  Criminals can often scan the information using advanced radar technology and will be able to steal the information from a site far away.

    • Be wary when using your credit card online.  Always make sure that you are using secure websites (such as financial institutions) not phishing websites, and keep anti-virus software up to date.

    • Be wary of phone call scams that ask for your credit card information.  They may use deceptive measures such as pretending to be your financial institution monitoring your credit card and need such information such as the three numbers on the back of your card.  In this case, the criminal already has your credit card number and is looking to have the security number on the back of the card in order to make purchases with the card.

    • Be diligent in checking your credit card statements.  Monitoring every transaction may seem that it takes a lot of time, but this is the best measure one can take to ensure that each transaction is legitimate.  This could save valuable time in the future if your credit card is compromised, plus this may help curb your spending as well!

    • Notify your credit card company if anything looks suspicious through your statements or if you have lost your card.  Even if you have ‘temporarily misplaced’ your card, as many of us have done, be sure to have the card canceled and order a new credit card with a new number.