From The Straits Times    |

Image: Ivan Kruk / 123rf

Today’s thieves have evolved – they no longer need to threaten you with a knife or snatch your wallet. All they need nowadays is a bit of technology in order to rob you without you even realising it.

If you own a credit card and have made purchases online using your card, you might want to be aware of ways in which your credit card details could be vulnerable.

Even when you’re using your card to make a purchase or withdraw money it could also be in danger if you’re not careful.

1. Using Your Credit Card To Withdraw Money Overseas

If you’re travelling to a country that doesn’t use credit card chip technology, you have a higher risk of being robbed when using your credit card’s magnetic strip to make a purchase or withdraw cash.

Although all the credit cards issued in Singapore use EMV chip technology, they also have a magnetic strip which is not as safe as chip technology.

How do thieves read your credit card data? It can be done through a skimming device which is attached to an ATM machine and reads the magnetic strip of a credit card.

If there is an emergency and you really need to withdraw money using your credit card, you may want to choose an ATM that is located at crowded areas or packed malls.

Thieves are less likely to be able to fix those skimming devices in the midst of surveillance cameras and a steady stream of foot traffic.

Image: rido / 123rf

2. Beware Of Dubious Websites And Emails

Do not access any dubious websites or open any email attachments from strangers whom you are not expecting.

Most of these websites and emails come with appealing titles like “How to be a millionaire” or get-rich tutorials to entice people.

It is one of the latest tactics for hackers to infiltrate unsuspecting users’ computers by attaching malware onto the bait website.

You can also get spyware onto your computer by downloading videos or attachments. So when you use your credit card for an online purchase the next time, the spyware can read the keystroke of your passwords, credit card numbers and transmit the information to the hacker.

3. Don’t Use Your Credit Cards In Small Establishments When Overseas

This should be something that Singaporeans are not familiar with, as it is relatively safe to use our cards to pay for drinks and food anywhere.

However, there have been reported cases in other countries where lackeys from a larger syndicate would pose as waitresses to pry on unsuspecting patrons’ credit cards.

They are trained to copy credit cards’ information using a portable skimmer and have plenty of time to do so at the cashier when you pass your cards over to them for billing.

Most of these spy-waitresses will then sell your credit card information to criminal syndicates, which then create fake credit cards using your card’s identity.

For the same reason, try as much as possible not to hold bills using your credit card at bars. It doesn’t create much hassle to pay each time the bill comes, and it’s a lot safer.

Besides risking your cards to skimmer devices, the bar owners can also claim that they have lost your card or deny having it in the first place.

If you want to keep your credit card data safe, here you can see the 4 best ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud.

Tip: If you think your credit card details may have been stolen or if you’ve spotted any suspicious movement on your account, make sure to contact your bank immediately. If you contact them right away you most likely will have zero liability for any fraudulent transactions made with your card.


This article was originally on at: Is Your Credit Card Safe? 3 Dangers Singaporeans Should Be Aware Of

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