Nothing in the world feels quite as terrible as having your credit card stolen. And when your credit card information gets stolen online, it's a whole different story. Your card isn't secure anywhere, especially the internet. When shopping online, stick to some guidelines to keep your credit card information safe.
First and foremost- Shop only at sites you trust. Steer clear of clicking on email links because these links could take you to a fake website that's set up for the sole purpose of stealing your card information. As a substitute, go straight to the real website by typing the URL in your internet browser.
Tips to adopt responsible behaviour when you use your credit card at retail outlets:
- Keep receipts for your purchases and compare the amounts to what you are being charged on your monthly statement; errors have been known to occur.
- Never give merchants your personal information, even if they ask for it. All they can legally request is a valid card and your signature.
- Report the loss or theft of your card quickly.
- If a fraud occurs, take advantage of Zero Liability. If your number or card is stolen while you're shopping, you'll be free from your responsibility as a consumer and you won't have to pay anything. You must be able to provide reasonable proof that you are not accountable for any purchases that were made, unless they required the use of your personal identification number (PIN). Consequently, it is important to always review your monthly statements carefully in order to detect any unauthorized transactions (your cardholder agreement provides a definition of an unauthorized transaction).
- Make a list of all your cards and their numbers. Keep the list in a safe place (other than in your wallet or purse). It will be easier to cancel them in the event of loss or theft. You will be held responsible for purchases made with your card (with or without your consent) by anyone in your entourage.
- Ensure that the card you are handed back after you make a purchase is yours.
- Never give your card number over the phone, unless you are placing the call or are certain of the person who is calling.
- On the Internet, only conduct financial transactions on secure websites (often identified by a small padlock in the bottom right of the screen, and by a URL that begins with "https"). NEVER give your card number by e-mail.
- By no means should you leave your card unattended at work or school. Most card thefts take place in these locations.
- Sign the back of any new card as soon as you receive it and destroy any expired or unused cards.
- Check with your card provider... your card may also provide you with Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance, which protects your purchases from loss, theft or damage and extends the manufacturer's warranty.