Locked Credit Card

7 ways to prevent card-not-present credit card fraud

Locked Credit Card

In 2016, Australians lost a staggering $521 million dollars to card-not-present fraud, where a credit card is not actually presented at the time of transaction. The risk of this type of fraud will only increase, with online transactions currently growing five times faster than traditional retail spending. According to NAB, Australians spent $20.1 billion online in the last financial year with online transaction growth of 13.5%.

These figures highlight the need to keep credit card information safe. Here are 7 of the best ways to help you keep your information secure and avoid card-not-present credit card fraud.

1. Purchase only from secure websites

Security certificates are small data files that allow secure connections from a web server to a browser.
They are used primarily to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and login details in transit. It’s easy
to tell if a website has an active certificate installed.

In Google Chrome you’ll see a green padlock and the word “Secure” when you open the website:



In Mozilla Firefox, look for the green padlock seen below:



Other browsers will have similar icons to show if the data transmitted from your browser is secured over a TLS channel.  Most websites will have a secure TLS certificate installed. If they don’t, we recommend you give them a miss and shop elsewhere.

2. Don’t write your credit card information onto paper forms

You should never provide your credit card information on paper forms. Years ago, it might have been acceptable to provide your credit card on a form and send it via fax.  But now faxes are received by fax gateways and transported as emails which makes it easier for unauthorised exposure. Once your credit card information has been passed on, you have no control over who can access it. It’s important to note that accepting payment in this manner is not PCI DSS compliant.

If you are asked to provide payment on a paper form, simply request direct payment details. You might also want to suggest they find a more secure way of collecting payments!

3. Don’t give credit card details to anyone who has called you

If you haven’t had a call from someone claiming to be from “Microsoft” or “Telstra” you are one of the lucky few. Telstra or Microsoft would never phone and ask for your credit card details. If the caller does ask, you can assume it’s a scam to try to steal your credit card information. The best thing you can do is hang up. If you continue to get calls from the same number, you can block the numbers on your phone or install an app that will filter and detect spam calls.

4. Never save your credit card information online

While it might seem convenient to save your credit card information online or in your browser, security of your information is much more important. If you are given this option when purchasing, simply say no.

Even though it might seem inconvenient to enter your credit card every time you make a purchase or pay a bill, it’s one more opportunity for your credit card data to be compromised. Inconvenience is a better alternative.

5. Don’t sign blank credit card receipts

When you sign a credit card receipt, this confirms acceptance of all the charges on that receipt. Think of it like signing a contract between you and the seller.

When you sign it, you need to ensure all the costs are clear. A good example is when paying the bill at a restaurant. The receipt often comes with the tip and final cost not filled out. The customer is required to enter this and sign for it. If you just sign the receipt and don’t fill out the amount, you leave yourself open to fraud. If you dispute the transaction with the bank and the seller produces the signed receipt, you really don’t have a leg to stand on.

6. Review your credit card statements every month

It’s a good idea to check your credit statements every month for unusual activity. Check for small transactions rather than large as this is often how criminals try to keep their activity under the radar. A lot of small transactions can add up to a large amount of money and if you notice anything amiss, contact your bank immediately.

7. Watch out for credit card skimmers.

When using an ATM, always keep an eye out for credit card skimmers. Check the location you insert the credit card is secured to the ATM and look for parts that are usual in design or colour. If you’re unsure, you can perform the transaction inside the bank with a teller. New ATMs come with paywave technology and don’t require you to insert your credit card. This is a better option if you want to keep your information secure.

Use common sense at all times

Whether you shop online or visit the ATM, always use good old-fashioned common sense. Don’t let your credit card information out of your control, keep an eye out for any unusual activity and keep your details protected. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll go a long way to making sure you aren’t a victim of credit card fraud.

Muralee Krishnan

Muralee Krishnan is the National Assessments Manager at Stickman with specific expertise in PCI DSS and cyber security assessment and implementation. More articles by Muralee Krishnan

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