Nearly all credit cards these days provide limited liability insurance, should the card be lost or stolen. This means that usually, you only have to pay the first £50 of any loss. But should not mean that you don’t look after your credit card, it is essential to safeguard the card itself and your credit card information.
Even if it won’t cost you much money, the loss of your card, can cost you a lot in time and hassle. Also information obtained from the credit card can be used in identity theft scams, which can seriously hurt you financially.
Simple card theft may be the easiest problem to resolve, although it is not without difficulties, online theft can be a much more complicated issue to resolve. If you lose or cancel your card, any regular payments will not be paid when the new card is issued, as payments are card specific, not name specific. In addition, you will have to wait several days for your new card to arrive in the post.
Taking care of your credit card when using it online is very important. First, you should guard against what are known as “phishing” e-mails. These official looking e-mails are perfectly constructed to duplicate e-mails from your bank.
They will often say there is some problem with your card that requires immediate action, to avoid cancellation. There will be a link that takes you to a page, which on the surface is identical to your bank’s official page. You will then be asked to enter your ID, password and credit card number.
The criminals now have all the information they need to raid your real credit card account. Some of these sites will go further, requesting even more detailed financial information that they can use to milk you, the credit card and the bank. If you are not sure that the email came from your bank, or even if you are sure. Go directly to your bank’s page and see if there is a message for you, do not use the link in the e-mail.
When shopping online great care needs to be taken when giving your credit card number to a site that is not very well known. You should also check contact details, to make sure there is a phone number, a full physical address, as well as a contact e-mail.
When making payments online, you need to be sure that it is a secure site; there will be a ‘padlock’ image in the bottom part of your browser. The website address is will begin https not http, the ‘S’ means it is a secure page.
It is best to avoid websites that store your credit card information, this means that others may have access to this information may be able to use it to their own ends.
Hackers have been known to target companies that have huge numbers of stored credit card details available for them to steal and sell on to criminal elements.
You should also take great care of the card itself, large numbers of people lose their cards every day leaving them at petrol stations and restaurants. It is also important to keep your card covered. It is so easy these days for people to take a photograph of the card using a mobile phone.
You should not give out your card number over the phone to companies or individuals that you are not completely familiar with. If someone calls you out of the blue with some fantastic offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is, they may well just be fishing for your credit card details.
Do you really need to carry all of those cards around? Many people will carry 5, 6, 7 or more cards in their wallets or purse, the more cards you carry the more you have the lose. Try to just to take with you just the ones that you intend to use that day.
If you did lose your cards or they were stolen, could you remember all of them? It is important to take photocopies of the cards, along with the emergency phone number from the back of the card and keep them in a safe place at home. That way, if they are lost you can quickly call all the companies and be sure that all of them are cancelled.
Statements should be checked thoroughly as soon as they arrive, you should be looking for unusual transactions, and anything else that looks out of place. If you are uncertain about any charges, call the credit card company and ask them to verify the payment. The worst that can happen is that you realise, that you did to spend all that money.
If your credit card statement is late arriving in the post this may be a normal delay, or it could be an indication that someone has their hands on your statement, somewhere between the company and you.
After you’ve finished with your statement, shred it, don’t just throw it away, and don’t just rip it up. Make sure it is totally destroyed; the same is true for your credit card receipts, any credit card applications. Even ones that you didn’t fill in and any other credit related paperwork.
Keep your card and its details, as safe as you can it may not save you money, but it will certainly save you a huge amount of inconvenience.