Credit card fraud can happen to you any time and in some cases there isn't much you can do about it. Singaporeans could be victims of credit card fraud through no fault of their own. After all, banks are extremely popular targets when it comes to security breaches.
So while you can't totally eliminate the risk of credit card fraud, you should ensure reasonable safeguards so that you can easily detect when something doesn't seem right, and control the damage.
We at GET.com suggest 4 easy ways you can protect yourself from credit card fraud:
1. Go Through Your Credit Card Statements Every Month
In general, we recommend paying your credit card bills by GIRO as a way to make sure that you don't miss any payments and incur unnecessary charges by mistake.
But if your bills are being paid automatically, you may not pay as much attention to your monthly statements. There is a risk that you might not even notice if there were transactions that you hadn't made.
You're also at higher risk if you travel frequently and often use your credit card overseas, so don't make it easy for fraudsters.
Another convenient way to track your transactions is by signing up for regular SMS/email updates from your credit card company on your outstanding card balance. This way you can easily track any suspicious movement on your account from your phone or device.
2. Never Give Anyone Your Credit Card Details
Most of us are savvy enough not to fall for obvious scams, such as calls from people claiming to be from the government or banks and asking for our credit card details.
But many people still take their chances when it comes to sharing their credit card details over the phone or by email with friends or family members.
The other party may be completely trustworthy, but this still opens you up to a lot of unnecessary risk (e.g. if they lose their phone). On a related note, you should also password-protect your phone!
3. Shred All Documents With Your Card Info
This includes credit card statements, bank account statements, credit charge slips and receipts.
We're fans of protecting the environment too, but there's no knowing who might pick up your documents from the recycling bin.
If it really bothers you, at least cut out the parts with sensitive information and shred those separately.
4. Activate Your Card's Magnetic Stripe Only When You Travel
To comply with MAS' data security standards, local merchants no longer read or store your card's data through the magnetic stripe on your credit card.
All our locally-issued credit cards are EMV chip cards. However, our cards still come with a magnetic stripe because not all countries have adopted EMV technology.
If you're planning to travel, activate the magnetic stripe on your card only for the period that you'll be overseas.
This will reduce the chances of your card being used by fraudulent overseas merchants. Some banks automatically deactivate the magnetic stripe for you if you indicate your travel period, but you can easily double-check this with your bank via SMS or online banking.