Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Credit card Frauds - Where Consumer Needs to be Cautious?

Corporate or financial crimes in India with the help of technology are not very old in India. It was as early as in 2003, that the, Central Bureau of Investigation undertook its first cyber-crime conviction under Sections 418, 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. The convicted engineer was arrested for defrauding an American national by misusing her credit card on the Net and was released on probation of one year after paying a personal bond of Rs 20,000 as well as Rs 20,000 as surety . Therefore the need of the hour is the effective legislation in this field, to carve down the criminals involved in these frauds.

Nevertheless, consumer awareness and caution are the buzzwords for combating crime related to credit cards. There are some precautionary measures that the Consumers have to take for Credit Cards safe usage: -

· On receipt of a new card ensure that it is in sealed condition and that the seal is not tampered.

· Monitor your account regularly either on the Internet or from call centers.

· Also subscribe to email and mobile alerts to keep track of card usage. Ensure that the card is swiped in your presence wherever the card is presented.

· Whenever you travel abroad keep track of your transactions.

· Sign on the back of your new card as soon as you receive it.

· Preserve the card account numbers and the personal identification number in a confidential place.

· Periodically check your cards to ensure that none are missing.

· Destroy and dispose all documents that mention the card number, such as copies of receipts, airline tickets, travel itineraries etc.

· Memorize your card's PIN number

· Personal account information should never be shared with anyone unless payment for the purchase is being done from that account

· Cancel all inactive accounts

· Don't give out your personal information online without checking whom you're giving it to.

· When using your credit card online, make sure that the Web page is secure. Secure pages start with "https:// instead of http:".

· Do not download software from suspect Websites they often send a spy ware program your way that looks for personal info on your PC and sends it out to the delinquents on the Net.

· Get an antivirus program and firewall. Beware of e-mail attachments from people you don't know.

· Always review your credit card and bank statements carefully for any discrepancies. Alert the bank as soon as you find you've been billed for something you did not buy.

· Don't keep your personal information in your work computer. These files may be accessible to other employees on the network.

· When you use your card at an ATM, enter your PIN in such a way that no one can easily memorize your keystrokes.

· Your PIN and account number from a discarded receipt could make you vulnerable to credit-card fraud. Also, don't throw out your credit-card statement, receipts or carbons without first shredding them.

· Never give your credit-card number over the telephone unless you initiated the call.

· Ignore any credit-card offer that requires you to spend money up-front or fails to disclose the identity of the card issuer.

· Make certain you get your card back after you make a purchase. Also, make sure that you personally rip up any voided or cancelled sales slips.

· Always keep a list of your credit cards, credit-card numbers and toll-free numbers in case your card is stolen or lost.

· Check your monthly statement to make certain all charges are your own, and immediately notify the card issuer of any errors or unauthorized charges.

If you read the fine print, insurance cover is only for a lost card and it gets activated only after you have reported your loss of card. It does not cover frauds, aforementioned. Who will pay for the money that has been defrauded is still a legal minefield open to speculation and litigation. Thus, prevention is the only answer.

1 comment:

lauren said...

I too agree with you that number of credit cards are increasing day by day as people use them but are not cautious about the need of security.And customer awareness is the most required so that this number can be brought down
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