5 Ways To Avoid Credit Card Fraud When Shopping Online
Author: Melissa Cohen
Hackers are targeting online stores and stealing credit card information. We look at 5 ways to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
We recently published 10 Tips on How Not to be a Victim of Card Skimming. A helpful guide to avoid credit card fraud. For example, your debit and credit cards being cloned. But, the majority of the tips, sourced from South Africa’s major banks, were aimed at protecting your actual physical card at ATMs and paypoints.A recent investigation by Dutch developer, Willem de Groot, has revealed that hackers are now targeting thousands of online stores for online card skimming. In other words, stealing users’ credit card information to sell on the dark web. We look at five ways to avoid becoming a victim.
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While most banks do offer insurance against credit card card theft, it's still a a major pain and can take days or even weeks to be reimbursed. As with most things, prevention is better than cure, so here are five tips for preventing credit card fraud.
1. Bookmark Trusted Sites
Fraudsters have been known to mimic well-known sites and they’re excellent wordsmiths who send legitimate-looking emails with fraudulent links. To avoid typing in the wrong address, or clicking a bad link, bookmark your most trusted shopping sites.
2. Protect Your Computer By Upping Your Cyber Security
There are so many ways to ensure you’re not vulnerable to hackers. Keep your operating systems, browsers, and apps up to date. It’s easy and you have no excuse not to. Cybercriminals can also hack a six-letter password in under 10 minutes. So make sure yours is longer than eight characters, is case sensitive, and throw in some numbers. Also, wherever possible, use two-factor authentication, like the OTP (one-time PIN).
3. Don’t Shop In Public
Do your online shopping in safe places with secure wifi you trust. Public Wi-Fi, like in shopping centres and restaurants, carries a big risk of being intercepted by hackers. And, while we’re on the topic, change your home Wi-Fi password every month, too.
4. Follow The Signs
When you’re transacting online, there’s a number of things you can look for to indicate that the site is secure. Look for the lock image on the toolbar, VeriSign certificates (that are valid), and secure payment systems like PayU. Also, when entering credit card or personal information, check that the web address reads and not just The ‘s’ indicates an encryption that scrambles the information as it’s entered.
5. Triple-Check Your Statements
Whenever you buy anything online, print the receipt, or save it to cross-reference with your bank statement. Check regularly for any unverified or duplicate transactions, and fraudulent charges on your accounts. And no, itemised billing does not count as credit card fraud.