Given Asia's love for shopping and with the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) on, we will see more shoppers than usual descend on sales nationwide hoping to snag that deal that is too good to miss. Even travelers from around the region fly in just for hefty discounts on the latest designer wear.
In the frenzy, staying vigilant and ensuring secure card transactions can be the last thing on a shopper's mind. With the increased number of card transactions expected during the GSS period, instances of card fraud are likely to rise as well. Each year, about USD360 million in losses are racked up by card fraud in Asia, and this figure is growing, estimates FICO, given its work with top banks across Singapore and APAC.
Paying with cards may be convenient when shopping, but doing so without exercising caution can expose your bank account information to great risk. Fraudsters count on consumers to be too careless to detect skimming devices or other more advanced tactics deployed to steal card information. This threat is a very real concern and securing transactions should never be taken for granted. While protective measures are in place, many cards are still using magnetic strips that are easily cloned.
With fraudsters and syndicates bypassing even the most sophisticated security measures, it pays to guard against fraudulent activity when making any transaction. Keeping these tips in mind can help mitigate the risks of encountering card fraud and ruining an otherwise pleasant GSS shopping experience:
1. Keep your credit card number private: Don't share your credit card number with anyone unless you're making a secure purchase. Anyone who finds the information can use it to make purchases without your consent. When you shop online, look for "https://" in the web address to be sure that your information is secure.
2. Keep all the receipts from credit card purchases till the bill arrives. Having receipts will help you dispute potential errors or unauthorized purchases on your billing statement.
3. Scrutinize your bill statement completely. By doing so, you will be sure when your bill is due and exactly what the charges are for. Reading thoroughly will also help you spot purchases you didn't make so you can report them to your bank.
4. Report immediately if your card is missing or stolen: The sooner you report, the less liable you are.
5. Close unused accounts: Close an account as soon as you stop using it and destroy the card. The simplest way to destroy a credit card is to cut it into several pieces with a pair of scissors.
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