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21 Simple Habits That Can Help Protect Your Bank Account From Fraud

Nowadays, more and more people give preference to card payments which makes fraudulence with cards more common. The good news is that cardholders are already aware of many tips that can help them protect their money. Many people know by heart the rules of financial behavior — hide your PIN code, don’t tell your CVV to anyone, examine an ATM before using it, etc. However, fraudsters keep inventing more and more tricks and in such conditions, forcing us to learn even more ways of protecting our funds.

Bright Side found several unobvious rules about operating with bank cards and accounts that will help protect your funds even from the smartest fraudsters. Don’t miss our bonus tip at the end — it will tell you the best places at home to keep your valuables.

When operating ATMs

  • The recommendation to cover the keyboard with your hand is still beneficial. However, for more security, touch 6-7 keys instead of 4 by pressing real ones and imitating the pressing of false keys. It will be more difficult for a fraudster to identify your PIN code even if they record all your actions on video.
  • Beware of any “helpers” near ATMs. A fraudster can specially create a situation where the ATM won’t eject your card and advise the cardholder to “solve the issue” by entering their PIN. Once the cardholder loses hope and goes to the bank searching for help, the fraudster will eject the card and empty it with the help of the PIN code they already know.
  • Try to use ATMs located in bank offices only. They are under surveillance around the clock and that’s why it’s quite difficult to install any additional gadgets on them in order to steal information from cards.

In a shop

  • Don’t take your card out of your wallet in advance (for example, while you are waiting in line) and don’t hold it for a long time in your hands. A fraudster in a line pretending to be interested with their smartphone can easily take a photo of both sides of your card and even copy the data from the magnetic stripe.
  • Stick the CVV on the back of your card with a sticker or non-transparent adhesive tape so that no one can see it.
  • CVV codes can be completely erased from the card so that in case they’re stolen or lost, it would be more difficult to use them. However, sometimes it can cause some trouble for the cardholder especially when using the card abroad. This piece of advice can be useful for those who don’t use their card for payments very often.
  • Use special protection cases and wallets for credit cards to prevent unauthorized remote reading of card data.

When using internet banking and paying online

  • Don’t use internet banking from computers that belong to other people or from unprotected networks. If you don’t have any choice but do it, make sure to log out after the transaction is made and clear the cache.
  • When making online payments, always read the address in the browser line carefully — the slightest discrepancy with the bank domain means that you are likely using a phishing (brand spoofing) site.
  • Check the security certificate of the resource that you are using — when it’s there, there should always be an icon of a lock present in the address line, while the line itself is highlighted with a green color. If you click on this lock icon, you will see to whom this certificate has been issued to.
  • When shopping online, give preference to the checked trading platforms because today, it’s easier for fraudsters to create their own “internet-store” rather than hacking the payment system of the real internet store. You should feel worried if the seller promises to ship the goods only after prepayment and there is only cashless payment available as a payment option.
  • Install and refresh the anti-virus programs on your computer on time. Use the modern browser and e-mail program options. Also, remember to change passwords (at least once every 3 months) choosing complex combinations of letters and digits of different fonts.

When changing the settings of the card or the account

  • Set reasonable limits on payment transactions so that you can’t make expensive purchases with one touch without entering the PIN code.
  • CNP (card not present) operations, which means the operations are made on the internet, are better off switching off and activating for a short time at the moment of making the payment.
  • As an option, you can issue a special virtual card for internet-shopping and transfer the needed amount of money to this card before making the purchase. It will help keep your main funds secure if fraudsters get access to the card at the moment of transaction.
  • Don’t underestimate SMS notifications. They can help confirm the entrance, send passwords for each operation as well as notifications about receiving or withdrawing funds. Even if your card is stolen, fraudsters won’t be able to get into your internet banking without an SMS notification containing the password. Even if they manage to do it, you’ll instantly know about the first purchase and will block the card instantly.
  • A double withdrawal of funds from the account is among the possible risks of losing money. Due to the simplicity of card payment processes, dishonest or simply inexperienced sellers can make a payment of one purchase 2 times. The SMS notification about withdrawing the funds can help control such situations.

When communicating with banks and mobile operators

  • Due to recent increased technical security measures, fraudsters have started to rely on personal communication, trying to find out information from the cardholder by phone. This phenomenon is very close to phishing and it even has a similar sounding name, vishing (or voice phishing).

  • Fraudsters use it to get data about credit cards as well as a secret code by phone using any means (checking in from the bank, surveying, delivering goods etc.). Don’t let them fluster you — there are no financial issues that are solved via phone!

  • Since your phone is used for making some financial transactions, you should take the right action. For example, make sure that the SIM card you are using is registered in your name and can’t be changed by the letter of attorney. It will help to prevent fraudsters from reregistering it by their name or making a copy in order to get an SMS from the bank.

  • Some banks issue plastic cards containing the photo of the owner — don’t ignore this opportunity. In this case, even the option of paying for the goods with your stolen card will be closed to fraudsters.

Of course, your most important task is to act proactively but there is one more common piece of advice that can help you stay safe: control your account status! This will help the system to notice any strange transactions in time and react to the fraud right away.

Bonus: the safest places to hide your valuables in

There is a list of wide-spread places where people keep their valuables most often and it’s these places that robbers ransack first.

Don’t keep your belongings in:

  • books
  • wardrobes
  • toilet bowls

Instead, you can keep them in:

  • a mayonnaise jar painted from the inside to make it look full
  • underneath the fridge in a special compartment
  • in a tennis ball
  • in a socket
  • in a chair
  • in any non-transparent plastic box (gum, deodorant etc.)

What methods of protecting credit cards do you use? Please tell us about them in the comments!

Preview photo credit KATY B.,
Bright Side/Tips & tricks/21 Simple Habits That Can Help Protect Your Bank Account From Fraud
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