Credit Card Scams To Watch Out For
Nandita recently changed her phone number but forgot to inform the same to her credit card provider—and ended up paying a huge price for her oversight.
There was a fraudulent purchase made on her card, but as she was travelling and also had not shared her new number with the bank, she received neither the customary SMS alert nor the physical copy of the bill. When she learned about the fraudulent activity, it was too late and she had to bear the expenses. Credit card scams like these are all around us.
Credit card providers in India, as per the credit card contracts, are liable to pay for a fraudulent purchase only if the provider immediately files a report. If you intimidate the provider within 30 days of receiving the statement, the responsibility of bearing the expenditure lies with the bank, not you. But if you inform the bank after 30 days, you will have to pay the money out of your own pocket.
Therefore, always inform your bank about any changes in your email address or phone number and check the alerts and peruse the credit card statement to ensure there are no fraudulent transactions. In case you notice a fraudulent transaction, inform the provider immediately, who would ask you to fill out a declaration form.
There are different types of card fraud, like purchases made on a card that has been stolen or lost, identity theft, and phishing. Making payments via unsecured websites can also lead to card fraud.
Other credit card frauds include:
Cloning or skimming refers to credit card scams in which information stored in your card’s magnetic strip is used for making duplicates cards. The information stored inside the magnetic strip is recorded when you swipe it at a machine.
You are at a greater risk to this fraud when you travel abroad. That, however, doesn’t mean you should not be cautious about it when in India. In the past few years, some cases of skimming in the country have come into light. Skimming can happen at any place, at a restaurant or a petrol pump.
Cyber Swindles is also something you must be wary of. These involve unsolicited use of credit card details to buy stuff online. You are recommended to make financial transactions only through https websites. It is also best to not use of public computers for making online purchases or e-banking.
Identity theft and account takeovers are also common modus operandi of fraudsters. They do this either by using the stolen card information to make transactions for which swiping the credit card is not required, for example, online shopping, or by applying for a new card using the information obtained slyly.
Phishing emails, SMSes, and calls are last in the list, but they can be equally damaging. Fraudsters contact you claiming they represent an institution you deal with and ask you to provide information related to your credit or debit card.
Some ways in which you can reduce your risk of credit card fraud are as follows:
- Do not share the details of your credit card with anyone
- Do not disclose the Card Security Code, a 3-digit number printed at the backside of your card, to anyone
- Shop online only from a trusted website (check for “https” in the URL box). Do not use a public computer to shop online
- Do not click on a link of an unsolicited email
- Memorize your card’s PIN number and do not write it on the backside of the card
- Sign on the back of a new credit card immediately
- Ensure that the new card delivered to you is properly sealed
RBI ombudsman for grievances
You can contact the RBI-appointed ombudsman in case the bank doesn’t respond to your complaint satisfactorily. When you lodge a claim, the bank must respond within thirty days. In case there’s has been a wrong billing, the credit card provider must provide evidence in sixty days. If it fails to do so or if you are not satisfied with the evidence submitted, you can contact the ombudsman to report these credit card scams and others.