Ways to Prevent Credit Card Theft

Owning a credit card is, no doubt, one of the most convenient ways to manage one’s expenses. However, it can also expose a lot of risks or problems in the part of the consumer. These problems may very well be encountered if the credit card owner is not aware of the dangers of mishandling a credit card. Although it’s quite tempting to go into a “buy this, buy that” mode, there are certain places where it’s not recommendable to go nuts and use your credit card to your heart’s desire. These places pose a lot of risks and may very well get you into trouble.

1.) Bargain stores, flea markets, and other small shops

Sure, these places sound too good and friendly in the ears of consumers, but they may not be that friendly to your handy little credit card. The reason for this is that most merchants of these stores rely on computer software to manage the credit cards being used by their customers to purchase their goods. Basically, how this software works is that they would create a carbon copy of your credit card and would send out the card’s  information over the internet (which is, most of the time, transmitted through a wireless connection). This may create a less-secure environment to the transaction.

In addition to that, just in case you want to do a refund or charge back later on, you and/or the credit card company may find it hard to track the vendor due to the fact that these stores don’t have a permanent address.

2.) Places with unauthorized automated teller machines

Believe it or not, there are places out there that have fake ATM’s! The ones that will only steal your credit card’s information and won’t give you anything in return. There are some ATM’s, however, that do create valid transactions but they most likely have a less-secure connection which gives way to hacking and other unethical stuff. When using automated teller machines, it’s always best to look for the ones that are owned or authorized by a well-known and trusted bank.

3.) Places with suspicious credit card swipe device

This is most common in places such as gas stations and other locations where people can freely swipe their credit cards in exchange for something. Watch out for suspicious looking devices! Sometimes, credit card hackers connect something to these swipe terminals that’s designed to steal your card’s information without your knowledge. It’s best to check and consult the owner first before using your credit card in this kind of situation.

4.) The Virtual World

As known by many as the Internet, creating an online transaction using your credit card is probably the most popular way (as what most people would tell you) in encountering a credit card identity theft. One of the most dangerous ways to use your card online is making a transaction over an unsecured webpage. One way to know if the page is secured is to look for the term “https” in the beginning of a website URL. Basically, HTTPS is secured while HTTP isn’t. It’s a good practice to check this first before purchasing anything online. Also, try not to use your credit card on sites that you don’t trust or the ones that you visited for the first time. It’s always best to look for valid reviews first. See if other people trust that particular site or find out whether they encountered a problem or not. This would create a solid foundation on where you’d base your final decision of using your credit card online.