Credit card fraud is no joke; according to Forbes, merchants in the United States are losing approximately $190 billion a year to credit card fraud. Customers of banks lose around $4.8 billion, with banks themselves losing an additional $11 billion. The scale of this problem is massive, with credit card losses equivalent to the total annual energy spending in the USA (which is about $140 billion). This is the most prevalent form of identity theft and it is wreaking havoc in a way that loss prevention has never seen before. This is a systemic problem that is both scary and painful: what can be done to prevent this?

Use Secure ATMs

Only use ATM machines inside banks. Crooks can use credit card skimmers in less secure areas to retrieve information from the card, then sell it on places like the dark web. Skimmers are small devices attached to credit card readers and are often found in gas station pump card readers and less-secure areas, such as downtown metropolitan areas.

Pay Inside the Gas Station

As previously stated, affixing a skimmer to a card reader inside a store would be next to impossible without an employee or store owner noticing. A gas pump is much easier for criminals to attach the small devices to.

Use Chip Readers

Shop with retailers and stores that use a chip reader. It is much more difficult to retrieve information from a system with a chip system than a swipe system.

credit card payment in restaurant

Don’t Save Credit Card Info Online

In 2017, nearly one in five major data breaches exposed credit card and debit card information. You don’t have control over a store’s cybersecurity, but you can choose whether or not to save your information to their servers. It may be a small hassle to re-enter credit card information each time, but in the event of a data breach, you will be more protected. Many banks now offer a virtual credit card number online, which is not your actual credit card number, but still linked to your bank account.

Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi

Many breaches of security and identity theft happen on public Wi-Fi due to the fact that anyone in a Starbuck’s can access it. If you must connect to a public Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to use a virtual private network (VPN) when conducting business with your credit card.

Use Complex Passwords Online

Use a complex password that isn’t easily guessable or hackable. “123” is not a very secure ending to a password, as it is used by millions of people. Try using special characters (%^&*) and incomplete words instead. Also, use a different password for every account online. If a hacker gains access to one password and all of your passwords are the same across the board, it may spell trouble for your bank account.

Freeze Your Account

Many people will check their account daily or weekly to make sure there is no unauthorized purchases. Many thieves will make a small purchase first to test the validity of your stolen information. Immediately freeze and replace your card at the first sign of theft.

Merchant Fraud Prevention

Pinpoint Payments uses 3DS protocols created by Visa and Mastercard to protect our customers from fraud. We understand the severity of credit card fraud in this country and we provide the technology to make sure fraud doesn’t happen to you.