Credit Card Users
Using Credit Card: Offline
- Sign your card(s) as soon as they arrive.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet.
- Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible. It is the only way to prevent "shoulder surfing" at ATMs.
- Ensure that you get your card back after every purchase.
- Save the receipts in order to compare them with billing statements.
- Void incorrect receipts.
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly.
- Keep a record of your credit card(s) and account information together with the card issuer's contact information in a secure place.
- Check sales vouchers for the correct purchase amount before you sign them, and keep copies of your vouchers and ATM receipts.
- Check your billing statement and verify the amounts of your purchases at least once a month.
- Monitor all your bank statements from each credit card every month. If there is anything you do not recognize call the card issuer to verify if the the statement is really yours.
- Immediately correct all mistakes on your credit reports in writing. Send those letters Return Receipt Requested, and identify the problems item by item with a copy of the credit report and send them back to the credit reporting agency. You should hear from them within 30 days.
- Order your credit report at least twice a year. Review it carefully. If anything appears fraudulently, immediately place a fraud alert on your reports.
- Cancel all credit cards that you do not use or have not been used in 6 months. These can be very easily used by thieves.
- Cancel your stolen/lost credit cards as soon as possible. Get new ones, and use different PIN's from the previous ones.
- Avoid selecting a common or regular PIN for your credit card such as name , date of birth , telephone number, mother's maiden name, or a combination of all these.
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
- Get a post office box or a locked mailbox, if possible. Mail theft is very common and your credit card statements may be stolen.
- Keep a record of your conversations and correspondence.
- Contact the card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost or stolen.
- Report suspicious charges to the card issuer as soon as possible .
- Do not lend your credit card(s) to anyone.
- Do not leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Do not sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Do not write your account number on postcards or outside an envelope.
- Do not give out your account number over the phone unless you initiated the call or you're talking to a reputable company.
- Do not use Social Security number as ID numbers on payrolls or other documents.
- Do not write your credit card account number outside of envelops or on your checks.
- Do not write down your PIN or passwords. Memorize them.
- Do not disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from a financial institution, the police, or a merchant should ask for your PIN.
- Do not use the same PIN and passwords once you canceled/closed your accounts and want to open new ones.
- Do not put checks in your home mailbox. Mail theft is very common and your information can be easily compromised.
Using Credit Card: Online
- Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from legitimate and reputable sources. Contact the company directly if in doubt.
- Purchase merchandise directly from companies that hold the trademark or the official legal right to produce or sell a product.
- Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number, call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.
- Send emails to the persons/organizations you are dealing with to see if they have an active email address. Pay attention to sellers who use free email services where credit cards aren't required to open the account.
- Be cautious when responding to profitable offers (especially through unsolicited emails).
- Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
- Make sure you know who the company is and where it is physically located. Businesses taking place in cyberspace may be in another part of the country or in another part of the world. Resolving problems with unfamiliar companies can be more complicated in long-distance or cross-border transactions.
- Inquire about returns and warranties.
- Verify with other websites the person/company you are dealing with. Compare the prices and quality of products with other suppliers if you are offered an unexpected reasonable deal from an unknown salesperson. Check the seller's reputation. Many websites provide the buyers' feedback on sellers' business practice. This can help you find the sellers transaction history.
- Use only one credit card to purchase online. Also consider opening a credit card account for use only online in order to minimize the potential access an attacker may have to your credit card information. Keep a minimum credit line on the account to limit the amount of charges an attacker can get.
- Ensure yourself that the credit card transaction is secure. Watch the address bar at the top of the computer screen. When you are asked to provide financial account information, Social Security number, or other sensitive personal data, the letters at the beginning of the address will change to "https".
- Pay attention to the URL of a web site. Malicious web sites may look identical to legitimate ones, but the URL may use a variation in spelling, a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net) or an IP address.
- Password protect all your accounts. Don't use easy detectable ones such as: name, telephone number or date of birth.
- Password-protect your computer files and network.
- Use new Personal Identification Numbers (PIN's) and passwords, if you are closing existing accounts and opening new ones.
- Memorize all your passwords and PIN's.
- Cancel all credit cards that you do not use or have not been used in 6 months. These can be easily used by thieves.
- Cancel your lost/stolen credit cards as soon as possible. Get new ones, and use different PIN's from the previous ones.
- Use anti-virus, firewalls, email filtering or email attachment blocking software.
- Do not purchase merchandise unless you are certain you deal with reputable sources.
- Do not buy from sellers who don't hold the trademark or the official right to produce or sell a product.
- Do not give out your credit card number(s) online unless you are 100% sure you are dealing with a secure and reputable website. Sometimes an icon placed at the bottom of the page symbolizes a higher level of security. Still, this icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but it might provide you some assurance.
- Do not trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
- Do not believe websites that tell you your financial or other sensitive information doesn't have to be encrypted.
- Do not reveal financial or personal information about yourself in emails .
- Do not respond to emails requesting for personal or financial information.