In today’s world, you can use your debit and credit cards virtually everywhere. It’s easy, convenient, and simple, so it feels natural to pull out your card whenever you need to make a purchase. Unfortunately, there are times that it may be better to keep your card put away. There are some situations where your card may be at risk for fraud. Luckily, these situations can be identified.

  • When speaking to anyone over the phone – Whenever possible, avoid giving your card information over the phone. Even if you’re at home where someone cannot overhear your information, you never really know what that person is going to do with your information once you hang up. If it’s an option, it’s much safer to opt for a secure website where you can submit your payment.
  • When Sending or Responding to an Email – Many email platforms are not secure enough to include your card information, or any personal information. Especially if you received an email asking you for personal information, never send your payment or personal information to someone through email.
  • Through Unsecured Websites – You can tell if a website is secure when it begins with https:// rather than http://. The “s” stands for secure. If the website is not secure, never include any personal information.
  • Unknown Online Stores or Merchants – Only use reputable merchants for online purchases. If you’re interested in buying something on a website you’re not familiar with, take the time to research the company. Read online reviews, check out their social media, and look for any red flags before you take the risk.
  • When You’re Using Public Wi-Fi – Never use public wi-fi if you need to enter private or sensitive information. Even if the website is secure, your information can be stolen through the wi-fi connection.
  • If the Card Reader Looks Off – Before you swipe your card, take a look at the card reader. If you see bulky plastic, extra wires, or anything that looks like it doesn’t belong, then don’t use it. One way criminals collect personal information is through “skimmers” which attach to card readers and collect the information of every card that comes through. If you have a bad feeling, trust your instincts.