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How to secure usage of Credit & Debit card

The usage of plastic money credit cards and debit cards is quite common today. Everyone keep credit card and debit card today. With the increase in usage associated credit card fraud has also gone up. Credit card fraud is the biggest worry today. But you need not worry if you know how to use credit cards and debit cards securely.

In this article, we will discuss different types of fraud and how to secure the usage of credit cards & debit cards.

credit card debit card fraud

Types of Credit Card & Debit Card Fraud

Identity theft 

The fraudulent acquisition and use of a person’s private identifying information, usually for financial gain. It can be divided into the following categories.

Application fraud

Application fraud refers to a type of fraudulent activity where individuals or entities provide false or misleading information on various applications for financial products, services, or benefits. This can occur in various contexts, including loan applications, credit card applications, insurance claims, job applications, government benefit applications, and more. The primary goal of application fraud is to gain access to resources, benefits, or opportunities to which the fraudulent party would not otherwise be entitled. A few examples are loan application fraud, credit card application fraud, job application fraud, etc.

Account takeover

Account takeover is a type of cybercrime that is often shorthand referred to as ATO fraud. This occurs when an unauthorized individual or entity gains access to someone else’s online account, often for malicious purposes. This can occur across various online platforms, including email, social media, banking, e-commerce, and more. The perpetrator typically gains control of the account by exploiting security vulnerabilities or using stolen login credentials.

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is committed by making use of the credit/debit card of others for obtaining goods or services. The threat emerges due to the stealing of information like Credit card numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, etc. Theft of cards and cloning of cards are also employed to commit such frauds.

As stated here, depending on the severity of the offense and the laws of their state, credit card fraud offenders may face jail or prison time. The severity of the penalty is determined by various factors such as the value involved in the transaction, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and the offender’s criminal record. Typically, misdemeanor convictions carry shorter jail sentences, while felony convictions can result in prison sentences of over 20 years.


Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. 


Skimming is the theft of credit card / Debit card information. Thief can procure victim’s credit card number using basic methods such as photocopying receipts or more advanced methods such as using a small electronic device (skimmer) to swipe and store hundreds of victim’s credit card numbers. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim’s credit card and makes note of card details for further use. 


It is one of the method of social engineering over the telephone system, most often using features facilitated by Voice over IP (VoIP), to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward. The term is a combination of “voice” and “phishing”.

Social Engineering

Social engineering involves gaining trust – hence the fraudster poses as a member of staff or even security guard. The fraudster would then ask the customer to check the card for damages. The fraudster would have gained confidence from his prey using various tactics such as offering assistance to the customer who perhaps would have tried to use the ATM without success or perhaps the customer who is not familiar with use of ATM machine and requires assistance.

Steps to be followed before Credit card & Debit card/ATM card usage

  • Whenever you receive the card from the bank make sure the mail is completely sealed and there is no damage.
  • Whenever you receive the card from the bank immediately sign on the card.
  • Try to cover the last three digit number on the card.
  • Register your phone number to check the account transactions.
  • Change the pin number immediately. 

Secure usage of credit/Debit cards at Shopping malls and Restaurants 

  • Always keep an eye how the vendor swipe your card.
  • Always make sure that the transactions happen at your presence.
  • Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.
  • Don’t give away your personal information in the survey forms given in restaurants/shopping malls.

Secure usage of credit / Debit card over internet

  • Always use secure websites for transaction and shopping.
  • Please look for signs of security. Identify security clues such as a lock image at the bottom of your browser,A URL that begins with https: ( These signs indicates that your purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information)
  • Always shop with merchants you know and trusts.
  • Always log off from any website after completing online transaction with your credit / debit card and delete the browser cookies.
  • Treat all e-mail messages with suspicion to avoid phishing scams. Do not respond to e-mail messages asking for personal information including financial information, as banks do not ask for such information.
  • Never send payment information via e-mail. Information that travels over the Internet (such as e-mail) may not fully protected from being read by outside parties.
  • Please be careful when providing personal information online.
  • Please be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers asking for your personal information.
  • Please keep your passwords secret. Some online stores may require you to register with them via a username and password before buying. Online passwords should be kept secret from out side parties the same way you protect your ATM PIN.
  • Always make sure to use the virtual keyboard for netbanking.


  • Before you use an ATM, please ensure that there are no strange objects in the insertion panel of the ATM.( to avoid skimming)
  • Shield the ATM pin number during transaction. Don’t carry the transaction receipts along.
  • Please change your ATM PIN once in every 3 months. As advised by banks.
  • Keep your credit card receipts to guard against transaction frauds, check your receipts against your monthly statement.
  • Only carry around credit cards that you absolutely need.
  • Shred anything that contain your credit card number written on it. ( bills)
  • Notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address, then you change home address.
  • If you lose your credit card, please report the loss immediately.
  • When you dispose a card at the time of renewal/upgradation, please make sure to cut it diagonally before disposal.


  • Don’t accept the card received directly from bank in case if it is damaged or seal is open.
  • Don’t write your PIN number on your credit card.
  • Don’t carry around extra credit cards that you rarely use.
  • Don’t disclose your Credit Card Number/ATM PIN to anyone.
  • Don’t hand over the card to anyone, even if he/she claims to represent the Bank.
  • Don’t get carried away by strangers who try to help you use the ATM machine.
  • Don’t use the ATM machines if the device is not in good conditions.
  • Don’t transfer or share your account details with unknown/non validated source.
  • Don’t access Netbanking or make payment using your Credit/Debit card from shared or unprotected computers in public places.
  • Don’t open unexpected e-mail attachments from unexpected sources or instant message down load links. Delete suspicious e-mail immediately.
  • Don’t give out your account number over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Never give your credit card info out when you receive a phone call. ( This is called Vishing )
  • Don’t provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.
  • Don’t share any confidential information such as password, customer id, Debit card number, Pin CVV2, DOB to any email requests, even if the request is from government authorities like Income Tax department, RBI or any card association company like VISA or Master card.
  • Don’t address or refer to your bank account problems or your account details and password on social networking site or blogs.
  • Don’t store critical information like your ATM PIN number on your mobile phone.

Do share this thought with your friends and relatives to save them from these frauds.

Shitanshu Kapadia
Shitanshu Kapadia
Hi, I am Shitanshu founder of moneyexcel.com. I am engaged in blogging & Digital Marketing for 10 years. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, knowledge and help people in managing money. Please note that the views expressed on this Blog are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further on the topics. These should not be construed as investment , tax, financial advice or legal opinion. Please consult a qualified financial planner and do your own due diligence before making any investment decision.