The era of electronic communication has become an integral part of our lives. We tend to underestimate its dangers and use its benefits more often. The internet enabled virtually unlimited knowledge exchange that is completely uncensored. This knowledge sharing is not complete without fraud schemes.
It is clear that most “acquirers” in banking terminology are unable to provide 100% transaction security. To check if you have enough cash on your account the signal must reach the “emitter” the bank that issued the card you are using before you can charge your card for anything you purchase (paying Internet fees ordering breakfast at a cafe etc.). This signal is sent through networks that cannot be controlled. It can then be accessed by anyone who wants to use it for his own purposes.
Although this signal is encrypted it’s possible to crack it. It’s easier than ever to steal electronic money from your credit card these days than it is from cash. I’m not going to write the carding-promo articles. I suggest that you just get it on faith (“carding”) refers to illegal activity related to cards.
You are often taking on a risk every time you use a credit card. This is the risk of losing the bank credit line. The credit line can also be stolen if your card is stolen. You should also consider this when you use your card to access shady websites or ATMs outside of the country. Your own discipline and some simple tips can reduce the risk of card misuse.
Tip 1: Don’t save money on credit cards you use at public ATMs or on other websites. You don’t need to keep all your savings in your purse. Keep only the amount you use for daily expenses and keep the balance. Money transfers between cards that you have opened in the same bank are usually free.
Tip 2: Open separate cards for Internet payments. Keep the amount for certain payments in your account. You should always define how much you can afford to lose. Internet is open to all and is the most dangerous place for card-holders. You will need your card number “active until” date your name and unicvv code to charge your card. This information should not be given to anyone except for the person filling out the card form. Always verify the address line on the page that contains the card-data form.
The address must start at “https ://”” (protected connection) and the domain name must match the main page. These requirements may not always be met. However you should pay extra attention when using your card at such sites. If you have received the link via e-mail or on the pop-up window don’t follow it. You should not tell anyone you don’t know about the websites you use. Scammers will often ask for your card data or similar information to fake these messages.
Tip 3: It is safer to use ATMs within the bank branches or close by them. These ATMs that face the street are considered to be most dangerous. There are no street lamps and security cameras so they are not visible. These ATMs are often used by scammers to create duplicate cards. Check for suspicious items before you insert the card into an ATM. To avoid attracting victims’ attention skimming devices are commonly considered part of ATMs. If you are vigilant enough you can spot something suspicious.
Tip 4: Don’t throw away ATM receipts and any other documents that contain information about your transaction. If they aren’t useful keep them safe. Never do this near an ATM or branch of a bank you have made the transaction. Scammers often look in the bins at branches and ATMs for items that can be used to aid them in their fraud schemes.
Tip 5: Keep your presence visible when you use your card at POS terminals. You can either make a card copy in a matter of seconds or write down all your card data (name card number, CVV, expiry dates). Keep an eye on the card during the transaction by the waiter/salesman.
Tip 6: Do not let anyone see your pin code. It’s nearly impossible to dispute the fraud operation that was done with the PIN. The scammer can only learn your PIN through you.
Tip 7: “Scammers hunt card balances but cards themselves” Don’t allow anyone to know your card balance. Scammers won’t take the chance of stealing a card with a few cents on it. Consider your card stolen if the scammer discovers your balance and decides it is worth taking. It’s only a matter of time. If you suspect that someone you don’t trust has discovered your card balance close it immediately and open a new one to transfer all of the money.
These are the most important tips you can follow to reduce the risk of your daily credit card transactions. These tips were based on my personal experience working in fraud investigations at a commercial bank.