How to prevent credit card fraud
Updated over a week ago

There are certain things you can do to prevent yourself falling victim to credit card fraud.

1. Join CIFAS under protective registration

If you join CIFAS under protective registration, extra measures will be in place to ensure you don’t fall victim to credit card fraud again. This means that, whenever a credit application is made in your name, lenders will carry out more checks to make sure the application was made by you. The lender may even contact you. Due to these extra measures, your credit applications might take longer. It costs £25 for two years to join CIFAS, which is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it gives.

2. Keep your PIN safe

The best thing to do is commit your PIN to memory and then throw away the piece of paper it’s printed on. Tear it up, feed it to your dog, flush it down the loo — just make sure it’s gone. Whenever you use your debit or credit card, make sure you always shield your PIN. This is to stop fraudsters from peering over your shoulder and learning your PIN, and to stop hidden cameras from capturing it. Avoid storing PINs in your phone, too. It’s not uncommon for phones to get lost or stolen and having a catalogue of PINs could cause problems. For example, your handbag could be stolen with your purse and phone in it. If money is spent on your credit card, lenders might not refund it because they could argue you’ve been negligent by storing your PINs in your phone, as well as by keeping your phone near your card.

3. Only shop with reputable companies

Although it’s tempting to snap up a bargain before it’s too late, try not to be too hasty. If you’re shopping online, you should first check the site uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It’s an industry-standard encryption service that helps keep your data private. You’ll know if the site uses it because the web address will start with HTTPS, instead of HTTP. Another thing to look for is the little green padlock at the beginning of the web address, which most modern browsers have. It shows the site uses Transport Layer Security (TLS), securing your data further. It’s also a good idea to see what other customers have said about the company by looking at reviews on Trustpilot and Google. If in doubt, shop somewhere else.

4. Trust your instincts

If anything seems suspicious, don’t go ahead. A quick Google search will soon show up what other people have said about the company. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it often is.

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