Secure your e-transactions
Making purchases through your credit card by someone else when the card is very much in your wallet is really shocking!
BANK WATCH BY SAJJAD BAZAZ
Recently a case of cyber fraud - first of its kind in the valley - was tracked down by Safakadal police station in which some persons through fake credit and debit cards had allegedly duped some shopkeepers of lakhs of rupees. This incident has sent shivers through the spine of card holders – be it a debit cardholder or a credit card holder, as they are now feeling the heat of risk for being owner of such cards.
Even as technology driven banking services have delighted customers, new kinds of high profile risks have emerged which have been ignored by the customers – wittingly or unwittingly. Basically the kind of ease and convenience in availing the banking services has lured the customers to such an extent that they never think of security and safety of their financial transactions. But the unique incidents of technology driven frauds, particularly the recent one mentioned above, have put the customers on alert. Here one message is clear – it’s not bank alone which is responsible for the safe transactions, but the intervention of technology in banking transactions has made the customer also responsible for the safe conduct of his financial transactions.
How is customer responsible? The answer is simple. Tailor-made technology driven facilities like e-banking facility, plastic cards – debit as well as credit cards etc. allow a customer to operate his account anywhere and anytime without going physically to a bank branch. In other words customer has total operational control of his account and he does not even need to seek permission from the bank to conduct transactions in his account. Since these kinds of services are password controlled which only a customer knows, for any unauthorized transaction through these modes of transactions, the customer cannot escape the responsibility as well as accountability.
Cashless transactions through credit cards or debit cards is a huge advantage, as these transactions are most convenient for card holders and mitigate several risks associated with carrying cash like chances of having a fake currency note etc. But these cards too are prone to fraud, when someone steals the card and PIN (commonly known as PASSWORD) and operates it clandestinely to get through financial transactions. But making purchases through a credit card by someone else when the card is very much in your wallet is really shocking. And that is what is more worrying for a card holder.
Fraudsters have evolved a process in which production of an exact copy of an original card is done. It is a new technique whereby someone obtains your credit card details, copies them onto a bogus card and begins using the credit card. In cyber world it is known as card cloning or skimming.
How the digital information is stolen from the card, when the card is in possession of a cardholder? Normally it has been seen that most of the time individuals working as salesman at business establishments or wait staff are often prime targets of the gangs that are involved in cloning or skimming of card. These individuals clandestinely swipe customers’ credit cards through a pocketsize device resembling a pager. Swiping the credit card through the device copies the information held on the magnetic strip into memory within a few seconds. That information is subsequently copied to a counterfeit credit card, complete with security holograms.
So what to do? How to escape from the net of these kinds of fraudsters? One should be very careful while making payment through credit card even at a shop. There have been instances that while passing on the card to the merchant establishment to swipe it on a Point of Sale (PoS) machine to adjust payment; it’s clandestinely swiped in the skimmer device which most probably is placed near the PoS device. On swiping in the skimmer device, all the necessary details on credit card will be revealed. The information is got and a new card is cloned with these details. So a card holder has to be alert and keep his eye on the card while it is being swiped on the PoS device at a merchant establishment.
There are certain precautionary measures which you should observe as a cardholder. If you have applied for a credit card, ensure that it is delivered to you in a sealed envelope. If the envelope is already opened or is tampered with, don’t accept it. There are more chances that the card could already have been cloned before the delivery. You must always be alert when your card is being swiped for payment. After making payment through your credit card, you receive credit card statement from your bank. Here again be careful and don’t just glance through the statement. You must look through each transaction carefully to spot illegal usage, if any. Be careful when disposing of bank statements and credit card receipts. There are instances where criminals have obtained card information from these statement and receipts, as the card holder had disposed of these papers in dustbins.
Meanwhile, merchants or shopkeepers too have to exercise extra caution and due diligence while accepting cards against sale proceeds. They should invariably ask for certain documents from the cardholder before swiping the card on POS terminal. If the cardholder is a foreigner, the merchant must ask copy of passport. In case of domestic cardholders, the merchants must ask for copy of Election Photo Identity card, PAN Card or driving license. Besides, merchants must examine the physical appearance of the card presented for payment and ensure that embossing on the card is clear and straight; four printed numbers match with first four embossed numbers and signature panel bears repeated words like ‘VISA’ on blue and gold or ‘Mastercard’ in pink, yellow and blue in angular form.
The merchant must also match the signature of the cardholder on the charge with those on the Passport/ Identity Card. Moreover, they should accept single swipe for all transactions so that tech savvy alerts go to the original card holder.
(The views are of the author & not the institution he works for. Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM BUSINESS
‘SHIFT CASE TO CRIME BRANCH FOR FAIR PROBE’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Jan 9: The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has come down heavily on police for “biased and protracted” probe into the custodial killing of a civilian in 2009 and asked More
- Srinagar City
GK CITY REPORTER
Srinagar, Jan 9: Over a week on since chopping down of Mulberry trees on the Jawahir Nagar Bund near a CRPF bunker there, police said no case was filed because nobody came forward to lodge the complaint More
OPPOSE FLAG HOISTING PLAN
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Jan 9: Various Sikh organizations on Sunday lashed out at the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), for its proposed plan to hoist tricolor at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26. These groups sought More
- News in Brief
Srinagar Jan 9: Jammu and Kashmir People's Freedom League chairman, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani has condemned the alleged police atrocities on political workers and youth in different parts of the Valley.& More
‘23 mini hydro stations coming up under 3 clusters’
GHULAM NABI ZIA
Leh, Jan 9: Union New and Renewal Energy Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, today reviewed the implementation of Ladakh Renewal Energy Project, a special central project for Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Mumbai, Jan 9: Close on the heels of arrest of a couple of Kashmiris, the Mumbai police has issued an advisory to various police stations asking them to keep a watch on people from the state, especially More