Preventing Online Credit Card Theft - Revisited

Online Credit Card Theft is a very old and frequently discussed topic. And yet, a lot of people in the world are still victims to credit card theft. So, in a brief morning post, here are several simple pointers to minimize the risk of online theft.

  1. NEVER respond to e-mails claiming to be from your bank and requesting ANY account or personal information. Also, NEVER click on links contained in such mails
  2. NEVER give out information when receiving a telephone calls from someone claiming to be from your bank, and asking account or personal information.
  3. Alert your bank of all attempts described above - When reporting, don't press reply on a received e-mail. Call the bank's official phone number - printed on your credit card
  4. Buy from reputable sources - although there may be better deals at a smaller store's site, when exposing your credit card information online, use a trusted online store.
  5. Use a dedicated debit card for online purchases - Leave a minimal amount of funds on it, and don't use it in everyday purchases. When purchasing online, plan a day ahead and put some money on the debit card. Put just a little more then amount of money needed for the purchase. This way, you'll spend it immediately, and if the card data is stolen, the hackers can't use it - it has virtually no credit.
  6. In case of actual theft, treat it as any other crime - Immediately inform authorities and the store where you suspect your credit card info was stolen. The authorities will will send expert forensic team to analyze your equipment, as well as follow the money trail.
  7. Ask your bank to assist you in tracing the funds - This may have to be done by the authorities, by the bank will always comply. An extremely common error that hackers do is to transfer the money to their accounts, or purchase something very traceable (passing through customs, or having DHL tracking).
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