Credit Card Fraud: Protecting Yourself

Learn how to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

Every month, many of us receive a credit card statement and if we have a direct debit set up, the amount we owe to the card issuer is deducted from our bank account automatically.

However, as a credit card user, you have the right to dispute incorrect charges within 30 days of receiving your statement.

This is important because, unfortunately, many people are billed for credit card transactions which they did not actually make. While this may result from a clerical error, it is usually the work of credit card fraudsters who have stolen your credit card information.

Review your credit card statements carefully

In many cases, fraudulent credit card payments are not immediately obvious. That’s because many fraudsters are clever enough to make relatively small transactions using your credit card, albeit on a regular basis.

For example, a fraudster may charge just 10 francs to your card, but on a monthly basis. That sum could easily be lost in a credit card statement, especially if you use your credit card a lot. Unless you carefully review your credit card statements, this kind of fraud can easily go unnoticed almost indefinitely.

Call your credit card issuer

If you notice any fraudulent activity on your credit card account, contact your credit card provider immediately and report the fraudulent transaction. They should then do their best to sort out the problem.

Protect yourself from credit card fraud

There is no completely sure way to protect yourself from credit card fraud, aside from not using a credit card at all. But there are some simple measures which can greatly reduce the risk of fraud:

  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date with the newest protective software to minimize the risk of viruses and spyware.
     
  • Do not open any suspicious emails. Phishing attacks, in which an email prompts you to go to a website and enter your data, are a favorite tool of credit card information thieves.
     
  • Always check the amount being charged on the terminal before you enter your PIN to complete a transaction. Where signatures are used, check the receipt before you sign to make sure the charge matches your purchase. Merchants can make mistakes, and some unscrupulous merchants (particularly in fringe sectors) may even try to slip in a higher charge deliberately.

More on this topic:
Credit card comparison
Credit cards bills: making your payments

About Moneyland Magazine

The moneyland.ch magazine provides accurate, unbiased information on topics related to finance and money. In addition to research and expert interviews, the magazine contains numerous financial guides.

  • Radio 24
  • Radio 1
  • Tages-Anzeiger
  • Cash
  • SRF
  • NZZ
  • Handelszeitung
  • 20 Minuten
  • Bilanz
  • Finews