Whether you are running errands or just out for fun, be vigilant about payment card safety. Follow these tips to help you avoid identity theft and card fraud when you’re out.
- Keep a sharp eye on the person you’re paying. Make sure that person isn’t holding anything like portable skimmer and that your card doesn’t leave your sight. When you receive your card back, double check that it is indeed yours and was not swapped for another.
- Insist on privacy when entering a PIN. Watch out for shoulder surfers.
- Check sales vouchers carefully before signing.
- Never leave a line blank on a receipt. Draw a squiggly line through any blank spaces to prevent an unwanted amount of being added.
- Be sure a transaction is complete before you walk or drive away from an ATM machine.
- Always take card sales receipts or ATM transactions slips. Never toss them carelessly away near the sales or ATM terminal or leave them dangling from a receipt printer. Save them to compare against account statements. Shred them when no longer needed.
- When eating at a restaurant, ask to pay your bill up front at the sales terminal instead of giving your credit card to a server.
- Consider using RFID-blocking card carries and protectors. RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. It is one of the technologies that allow digital information to be stored on payment cards and other items. Tiny radio-frequency tags hold information (like bard codes and magnetic strips do). Identity thieves with RFID-skimming devices can scan, read, and capture information for payment cards embedded with RFID tags just by being near them.
- Be extremely careful with your mobile phone or other devices that you use to make payments. Mobile payment services and bank apps link your accounts and/or credit and debit cards. This technology offers great convenience, but it is not risk free. Make sure that you:
- Never let your phone out of your sight.
- Use every available security feature and system.
- Keep your device’s operating system and applications updated to get the latest security features.
- Choose hard -to-guess PINs and passcodes and enter them unobserved.
- Always sign out when finished with a transaction.
- Never use the auto-save feature for login information.