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If you’re a regular credit card user and like to tap your card for all your purchases, you could be at risk of credit card fraud. So, what is credit card fraud and how can I avoid it? The Credit Savvy team have broken down the basics right here!

 

What is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud is the term commonly used to describe theft or fraud involving a credit card as the source of the funds in a transaction.  According to MoneySmart:

 

Unauthorised credit card transactions are most likely to occur where the card is not present, for example when it is used to make phone or internet purchases, or where a merchant has charged you more than once in error.

As a general rule, the credit card holder will not be held liable for unauthorised transactions, however, there are some circumstances where this may not be the case, such as:

  • The credit card password or PIN was not kept secure and this contributed to the loss.
  • There was an unreasonable delay in telling the credit card issuer that your card was stolen or that someone else may know your PIN or password.
  • There was an unreasonable delay in informing the credit card issuer of the unauthorised transaction.

 

What should I do if I see suspicious activity on my credit card?

If you see an unauthorised transaction on your credit card account or you realise you have lost your card, you should:

1. Immediately call the card issuer and inform them.

2. If necessary, put a hold on your account so it can’t be used again. You may need to cancel your card and have another one issued.

3. Get a reference number for the conversation or some other record that you have informed the bank, such as an email.

4. Consider placing a temporary ban on your credit reports, so lenders know not to authorise any new accounts in your name.

 

How can I prevent credit card fraud?

Here are a few things you can do to prevent credit card fraud:

  • Keep your PIN and passwords secure, do not share them with anyone.
  • Review your credit card transactions regularly. Some mobile banking apps allow you to set up smartphone alerts for every transaction that occurs.  These will allow you to identify unauthorised transactions as soon as possible.
  • Only make payments through secure services online.
  • Don’t make transactions when you are on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Keep an eye out for ATMs that may have been tampered with and always cover the keypad when you are entering your PIN.
  • Keep track of new or replacement cards that are scheduled to arrive by mail.

 

As part of Privacy Awareness Week, the Credit Savvy team have written a range of articles to help you keep your information secure. Read up on the latest articles in our Learning Hub!