According to the U.S. News & World Report, a 2022 report revealed that over 67% of college students own their own credit cards, and 9% have authorized access to someone else’s accounts. Moreover, around 53% plan to apply for a card in the near future. These numbers indicate that using credit cards is already very popular among young people. This isn’t surprising because, these days, it’s much more convenient than using cash. However, it’s also associated with a number of risks.
One of the biggest risks associated with this is fraud. According to Security.org, in 2023, 65% of holders report being fraud victims at some point in their lives. In contrast, last year, the number of reports was at 58%. That is, the frequency of fraud is increasing. So it’s important to know how to protect yourself. Read on, and we will tell you about the most effective ways to use your credit card safely while in college!
Although students live on rather tight budgets, they have to use different types of services and products quite frequently. That is, there is a big risk of falling into the “upfront payment” fraud scheme. So here’s the first tip – whether you are using a “write my papers” service to boost your grades or buying something on the web, do never make upfront payments.
There are plenty of online scams that will ask you to pay upfront. If this happens, there is a big risk of not only losing your money but also getting your card details stolen. Thus, only use trusted and reputable sites and services, and don’t pay in advance!
Rush has always been one of the most powerful tools of fraud. Scams will always create a sense of limited time to rush you into making hasty decisions without thinking much. For example, you can see ads that ask you to make a purchase right now until a discount disappears.
If you see something like this, don’t rush. Take your time to consider all the pros and cons of the product, analyze the offer, and make the best purchase decision. This can save you from a lot of problems.
Another very common type of fraud is skimming. Basically, skimming is the process of scanning and stealing credit card details during a legitimate transaction. For example, this can happen at a fuel station or restaurant, or anywhere else when you hand your plastic to a third party.
After the details are stolen, thieves can use them to create a duplicate of your card and use it for online purchases. To prevent this, always keep an eye on your card when it’s in someone else’s hands. Also, immediately report to the staff or police if you notice anything suspicious in the PoS device.
This should be crystal clear to everyone. But it’s never a bad idea to recall this golden rule one more time. Everything from your email and password to your PINs and secret questions is your personal sensitive information. These details can be used to authorize access to your internet banking, steal your identity, or otherwise fraud you. Thus, if you want to secure yourself, make it a rule never to share this kind of details with anyone else.
These days, banks enable you to control and limit how much you spend on PoS transactions, online purchases, contactless payments, and even ATM withdrawals. These features are there for convenience and safety reasons. And we recommend students start using them ASAP.
Set your spending limits to the minimum amount that you might need on a daily basis. If there is such a need, you will be able to change the limit from your application. However, this trick can minimize your loss in case of any theft or fraud.
This next tip will also help you prevent skimming. When you pay through your mobile wallet, it prevents the merchant from seeing and collecting your details. As a result, skimming becomes simply impossible. On top of that, most modern phones have some authentication system that prevents unauthorized payments from your device.
So it’s pretty safe to use on a daily basis. Moreover, you can use your mobile wallet even on the web, let’s say when using writing services or making purchases in online stores. This way, you don’t provide your personal details at all, and sites can’t store them.
These were some of the most effective yet simple ways to prevent credit card fraud. Use these tips on a daily basis to mitigate the risks and stay on the safe side!
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