Adarsh, a young IT graduate, working with a renowned IT firm in Gurgaon, was baffled to see his credit card statement showing transactions of Rs. 90, 000/- which he couldn’t identify. He dug through his belongings but could not find his credit card. That is when he realized that he was a victim of credit card fraud. His ordeal did not end here. Since the damage was already done he had to pay for them through his nose. Adarsh paid 90k to the issuing bank for transactions he did not authorize.
Adarsh’s is not an isolated case. If statistics are to be believed then at least 41% of cardholders in India were impacted by credit card frauds. With compromised credit cards and data breaches dominating the headlines in the past couple of years, it’s hard not to have some concern about it. Whether you need to protect your cards or do you need insurance for your credit and debit card is a subjective matter. It varies from person to person and depends greatly on how vulnerable are you to such thefts. “It happens to people but it won’t happen to me” This is a common notion. It is but of course, false. There is growing concern over card frauds across the globe. Although it is true that we all are exposed to card frauds but some of us are more susceptible to risk than others.
For example, if you frequently travel abroad, or you journey in packed trains or buses, you visit crowded places where pick pockets prey on easy targets, you easily lose your valuables, you are a business owner and the information of your corporate credit cards are freely available to your employees who may copy it and use it without your permission, you often transfer money or transact online using public or shared computers, etc. then you are perhaps more prone to loss of cards than others. Any such instance can lead to damaging your credibility and leaving you to looking for bad credit personal loans. People world over are anxious over such cons. This can largely be attributed to the catastrophic impact of the worst-case scenarios that run through people’s minds as well as because no one wants to find their hard-earned money siphoned away by criminals. It is better safe than sorry. “How will a cheat find my information?” There are several ways by which a fraudster might obtain your card information.
Skimming: A skimmer is a small device attached to payment terminals. When you swipe your card at a, let’s say restaurant or petrol pump, the skimmer retains all your card information. This can then be duplicated to make “counterfeit” credit cards which will have all your information and are used by unauthorized individuals.
Phishing, Malware: Emails from strangers containing attachments may have malware that will transmit your online transaction details to unknown people, including passwords. “Tell me about card protection plans in India” Card Protection Plans or CPP are offered by almost all private and public banks, in association with CPP India (P) Ltd., as an add-on benefit to their cardholders. The general coverages are way more than just blocking the card.
Here is an overview list of the benefits under a CPP plan: The cover provides you with protection against loss or theft of all cards, important documents like travel tickets, passport, sim card, PAN card, etc. of you and your family members. They provide a worldwide cover which means the theft or loss may have happened anywhere in the world but it is covered. One call is enough to block all your cards. Cover against unauthorized transactions already done. You withdraw cash up to a limit, seek assistance on travel and hotel stay. Provides security against online card frauds. All these benefits are available at an annual premium, depending on the plan selected by you. “What are the other ways to protect my cards?” The key to protecting your plastic money is to call the issuing bank immediately and inform them of the loss the moment you realize it is missing. The sooner the call is made, the better your position will be.
Apart from this, we will share with you some easy; peasy ways by which you can steer clear of card frauds. Choose to use a chip card instead of a magnetic strip card as it is nearly impossible to duplicate information from it. We have already covered on our blog the benefits of a microchip card.
Use a pin for Point of Sale transactions and an OTP for online transactions. This ensures that only a person, authorized by you & who bears the pin or OTP can transact using your card. Use a grid card for debit cards. This provides an added level of security for your card when you transfer money or transact online. Ask for SMS alerts of every transaction. This way even if someone attempts an unauthorized transaction, you will receive notifications immediately.
Dispose of your old and expired cards properly by cutting them into four parts. This is important because several conmen rummage through trash for old cards from which they can extract cardholder’s information. Never share details of your card with anyone including your CVV number, expiry date, ATM pin number, OTP, etc. Avoid using a public computer for transactions. Such shared computers are often infected with malware that can copy your protected information and transmit to unknown locations.
Use only safe portals and computers to transact. This is also added security. Avoid opening emails from strangers and never download attachments sent from unknown sources. We overheard an old hag say, “Your safety is in your own hands”. There can be no truer words than these. Be wise. Stay Safe.