Are you a credit card holder? If so, then you better practice some of these tips on how to keep your credit card secure.
Protect yourself from financial losses by following these simple security tips. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Moreover, you should also be aware of your consumer rights whenever you use credit cards. Knowing these facts will help you avoid committing unnecessary expenses and make you save some money as well.
First, let me tell you some good habits you need to develop to ensure credit card security. They are:
- Never, ever, ever give out your personal information, specially your credit card number and other banking information to unidentified solicitors. Never trust someone who called you even if they claim that they’re a customer representative from your bank.
- Memorize your PIN or Personal Identification Number. Do not write it anywhere, specially on your card. DO NOT USE YOUR BIRTHDAY as your PIN. Here’s a tip on how to make a really personal PIN – think of a memorable word and use the telephone number equivalent of the letters. For example, LOVE is 5683.
- Be conscious of credit card ploys. An anonymous call or text message, unsolicited emails, a physical letter delivered or faxed from someone you don’t know – these are signs that you need to be wary of. They may tempt you with credit card upgrades or free offers and then ask you for your credit card number to validate your prize. Don’t believe them. My advise, get a phone directory and call your bank directly or the company which the solicitor claims to represent and double check if the offer is genuine.
- Always keep your credit card in sight whenever you use them. Stay near the terminal while the transaction is being processed. People sometimes ignore this rule when dining in a restaurant. Personally, I stand up from my seat and follow the waiter to the cashier or I just simply pay with cash.
- When using your credit card for online or internet transactions, always use a secured website and deal only with reputable companies such as Paypal and Verisign.
- Check your transaction receipts before signing them. Furthermore, always get your copy and keep it. File them neatly at home so you can double check your credit card billing statement once it arrives. Report unauthorized transactions or billing discrepancies immediately.
- Shred documents that contain your credit card details before discarding them. A friend of mine had someone who went through his paper trash at the office and the person apparently found a credit card transaction receipt in there. When my friend received his billing statement, he saw several online transactions charged to his account. He never discovered who the thief was.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately. This also means that you should know the 24-hour phone hotline of your credit card company.
What more can you add to the list?
Furthermore, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, in cooperation with the Credit Card Association of the Philippines, would like to inform consumers of Department Administrative Order No. 10, Series of 2006 which states some of our rights as credit card users. They are:
- Merchants are NOT ALLOWED to give surcharge or additional charges to the consumer when paying with a credit card.
- Stores should display ONLY ONE PRICE for their products and services.
- The amount indicated on the price tags should already incorporate the value added tax or V.A.T. INCLUSIVE.
Unfortunately, some stores have found a loophole to this law by just displaying the credit card price and “offering discounts” for cash purchases. Although we cannot really do anything about it, some retailers do explicitly disobey the above mentioned rules.
Personally, whenever I see such violations and I’m really planning to use my credit card to purchase an item in the store, I usually talk to the manager and inform them of their offense. In a number of instances, I was able to get the “cash price” charged to my credit card. It really pays to be often assertive of your rights as a consumer.
How about you? What are your thoughts on this? Kindly share them below.
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Photo courtesy of richardmasoner
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