Internet credit card fraud in S.A is something that many people are afraid of and as a result they tend not to purchase products online. Online credit card fraud can occur in many ways, the first is related to the company or organizations on whose website you are purchasing. Unfortunately not all companies are legitimate and therefore could be fraudulent themselves. This means that they could take payment and never deliver the products purchased. It is therefore imperative that you ensure that the organization from which you are purchasing the goods is legitimate. What is worse is that they could use your credit card details for fraudulent purposes and you could find yourself having your bank account cleared out.
The second kind of Internet credit card fraud in S.A is that of software and devises that are used to record your credit card details. This kind of software is called spyware and operates by recording the strokes of the keys used, or screenshots of whatever you do on your computer. This kind of spyware however can be thwarted by means of anti-spyware software being installed on your computer.
The third kind of Internet credit card fraud is through emails that are sent to individuals claiming to be from their credit card service provider and asking you to supply them with all of your details. This is known as a phisihing fraud.
There are however ways through which you can protect yourself from fraudulent activities online.
- Think of credit cards as cash. You would not walk around with thousands of rands in your wallet for fear of it being stolen and therefore you should treat your credit card like that. Therefore one suggestion is to have a credit card that you use specifically to do online purchases with and which has a lower credit limit than your other credit cards.
- Never give out your credit card information to people that email you requesting it. Your bank will never ask you to supply your credit card information in an email.
- Verify transactions on your credit card statement whenever you get it. If there are ever any transactions that you are unsure of, contact your bank immediately and raise a red flag.
- Do not give your credit card to others to use. This may result in them purchasing goods off sites that you are not aware of and that may not be secure.
- Purchase only from reputable online stores.
Credit card fraud can happen in other ways too offline. One of the most popular credit card fraudulent activities that occur is via card skimming. This can occur at atms, via card machines in restaurants in stores and in so many other ways. It is therefore essential that you know where your card is at all times. Should you have to give your card to anyone at anytime, make sure that you can see your card and that no one takes your card away from you.
With the advent of portable card machines, this is somewhat reduced however you still need to be cautious. It is also essential that you do not give anyone your pin for your credit card. This applies for both online and offline as should you give someone your pin and they remember or write down your card number, they will have access to all of the credit you have available through that specific card. No one wants to find that they have had all of the money used on their credit cards. So keep yourself protected by following the steps provided above and always being cautious.