Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.

Top 5 Credit Card Scams to Watch Out For

If you use a credit card, chances are that you have been a victim of credit card fraud or you probably know of someone who has been a victim to card fraud. The thing with credit card scams is that while banks and customers do their best to stay alert, scammers are always coming up with new ways to scam you. In some cases, they just put a new spin on an old scam.

So, how does one stay alert in such a scenario? Well, the best way is to stay informed of the different methods scammers use to get your credit card information out of you.

Top 5 Credit Card Frauds

Confirm Information for Your EMV Card

If your credit card was recently issued, you will find that your card has a chip on it. This is known as an EMV chip. If you use your card to make a payment and the retailer has an EMV chip card reader, the retailer dips the card instead of swiping the magnetic strip on your card.

EMV cards are said to be more secure and as a result, most card issuers are providing users with EMV enabled cards. Something that scammers have realised and decided to take advantage of.

So, how does this scam work?

Well, scammers pose as your card issuer and call you saying that in order to ensure you get an EMV chip card, you will have to provide them with your card details. They may even send you an email stating the same.

By providing the information, you will be playing into the hands of the scammer. Always remember that your card issuer or your bank will never ask you for any personal information such as your CVV or PIN. If they do, make sure you go to the bank and ask a bank representative if this information is indeed required.

Sure, it may take a bit of your time. But it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Interest Rate Reduction

No one wants to pay a high rate of interest on their card. So, when you do get a call stating that the bank has decided to offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity to avail a lower rate of interest, no one would blame you for grabbing it with both hands.

But remember, no bank will decide to suddenly lower the rate of interest. This could be a scam. If you are sceptical and think that this is an opportunity you don’t want to get rid of, visit your bank or call the bank’s credit card customer care.

Another twist to this is when the scammer calls you and tells you that the card issuer has decided to help you reduce your credit card debt, but you will have to first provide certain card details. It is easy to get carried away by such scams but always check with your bank first.

Whatever you do, do not provide any sensitive card-related information over the phone or over email.

Credit Card Skimming

Probably, one of the most popular and common credit card fraud is credit card skimming. With skimming, scammers tend to fit skimming machines onto card readers or at ATMs. This way, each time you use your card to make a payment or withdraw money, the machine collects card data which is then transferred to the scammers. This data is then used by scammers to go on a spending spree.

One way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to not use suspicious looking point of sale terminals or ATMs. If you find that the ATM has some sort of contraption attached to it, do not use it.

If, your card details have been skimmed, do not fret. The first thing you should do is call your card issuer and get your card blocked. This way, the people who are using your card details for unauthorised transactions will not be able to do so anymore.

Card Fraud Department

This is one scam that has been around for quite some time and even though people are aware of it, they still fall prey to it.

The way this scam works is that you get a call from the scammer who claims to be from the credit card company. Usually, these people have a few basic details about you such as your name, address, and where you work. They use these details to appear professional and build trust.

Once they know that they have you in their clutches, they tell you that unauthorised transactions have been made using your card. They also state that you will be liable for these transactions if you don’t provide them with the required details. This will, of course, include sensitive credit card information.

If you ever receive such a call, always remember that no card company or bank will ever call you and ask you for any sensitive credit card-related information. If you still doubt the authenticity of the call, visit your closest branch or call the customer service. You can also check your internet banking statement to see if any such transactions have indeed been made on your card.

Free Wifi

In this day and age, it’s always great to be connected at all times. So, free wifi is always a boon, right? Not quite.

If you connect to a public wifi that isn’t secure, chances are that there is a scammer connected to the network as well. Because the two of you are connected to the same network, with a little bit of work, they will be able to access your internet activity. So, if you make a purchase or log into your internet banking while connected to the wifi, you could be giving the scammer access to all these details.

A way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to not connect to public wifi unless you are absolutely sure that it is secure.

These are the 5 different types of credit card frauds out there that you should be aware of. But as mentioned earlier, scammers are always looking for ways to scam you of your card details, so be vigilant at all times. And remember the golden rule – if you are ever in doubt, visit your bank or call a customer service executive. It may take a bit of time to get your query answered, but it is always worth it.

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