While rising credit card debt is a major concern for both UK households and the economy as a whole, it’s fair to surmise that related instances of fraud are arguably more impactful.
According to the first-half statistics from 2016, overall fraud losses on UK-issued cards stood at a whopping £321.5 million, representing an increase of 31% on the same period in 2015. In total, fraudulent purchases equated to 8.7 pence for every £100 spent, with this number increasing incrementally with every passing year.
With this in mind, it’s becoming increasingly important that you protect yourself against credit card fraud, taking actionable steps to safeguard your identity in the process. Here’s how you can achieve this:
1.Keep your Cards Secure at all Times
When dealing with credit cards, there may be a tendency to overlook the most simplistic methods of protecting them and minimising the risk that you’ll fall victim to fraud.
This can represent a significant false economy, and one that leaves you particularly vulnerable to opportunistic identify thieves both on and offline.
To avoid this, you need to take simple but effective steps that protect both your identity and the physical cards that you own. These include keeping your cards together in a single, secure space, and keeping a record of individual account numbers and expiration dates.
Also refrain from lending your card to anyone, event trusted individuals who will strive to take care of your details. This means that you and you alone remain responsible for your card, which ultimately minimises the risk of theft.
2.Open your Bills Promptly and Inspect them Thoroughly
Every month, your associate credit card firm will send you detailed statements that include your monthly purchases and balance.
These can be delivered in paper form and electronically, and over time you may refrain from viewing these statements or saving them for reference.
This is a practice that you should strive to avoid, however, as it’s pertinent to open each bill and review in detail, as you strive to reconcile this with the purchases that you’ve made and the precise amount of money that you have spent.
This will ensure that you highlight any potential fraudulent activity quickly and proactively, optimising your chances of minimising any subsequent damage in the process.
3.Act with Caution when Receiving Unsolicited Emails Claiming to be from Creditors
If you’ve applied for a personal loan in recent times, you’ll notice that bad credit products are now widely available to applicants who have a less than perfect financial history.
With such a range of products and creditors active in the current market, it’s little wonder that we receive a huge number of unsolicited from firms concerning a host of different topics. Many of these will be from your current creditors, either offering new products and promotions or sharing monthly statements.
The issue here is that fraudsters have sought to leverage this, by sending false emails that claim to be from service providers but actually strive to access your personal details. It’s therefore important to be diligent when dealing with emails, and looking for the warning flags that can help you identify fraudulent communications.
Your email spam filter should prevent most emails from reaching you, but if this is not the case you should always double check the email address from which the communication was sent. Similarly, report any emails that ask you to share personal or financial details, either by applying to the message or by visiting or a separate page.
If you remain unsure, simply take the time to contact your service provider and speak to them directly, as they should be able to confirm whether or not they have contacted you by email at the time you have stipulated.