12 ways to stay ahead of card fraud


Being mindful of card fraud and being extra cautious - especially when travelling - can save you thousands in money and time. Here are a few simple steps to help prevent fraud.

Card fraud costs South Africa over R600 million a year, reports the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). Their 2016 data states that credit card fraud increased by 13% that year.

We all know that criminals are using increasingly sophisticated means to counterfeit cards and swipe valuable data like bank details, so being cautious can go a long way in protecting your hard-earned cash.

Combat fraud by being aware and proactive

"The best way to combat fraud is to understand it and know how to recognise it," says Phuti Sebidi, Chief Customer Officer for Discovery Card. "This is especially important while you are travelling." Here are some handy tips to keep you and your money safe on your next adventure:

  1. Let your card provider know when you're about to leave the country. "If you've booked your holiday with your Discovery Card, you'll automatically qualify for travel insurance - which kicks in when you call to inform us you're on your way," says Sebidi.
  2. Get secondary cards in advance, which you or loved ones can use if anything happens to your card while you're travelling. Query any suspicious transactions right away.
  3. Try not to travel with too many unnecessary cards, just because they happen to be in your wallet. Just take your credit card and a backup card, and keep a close eye on them.
  4. If your card is stolen or lost, call your card company or bank immediately to report it, don't just wait and hope that it will somehow 'turn up'.
  5. Memorise your PIN instead of writing it down, and use different pins for different cards.
  6. You may be in a bit of a hurry at a checkout counter, but don't just sign slips with barely a glance. Make a habit of checking transaction slips for correct purchase amounts before you sign them.
  7. Be careful which ATM you use - inspect the front of the machine, and if it looks damaged, don't use it. SABRIC adds that if you're unfamiliar with the screen layout of the ATM or if it appears that the machine or insert card slot has been tampered with in any way, don't insert your card.
  8. If your card or cash gets stuck, try your best not to leave the machine until help arrives and you've called to report the matter.
  9. Watch out for anyone who looks like they are just drifting around the machine. Block the ATM screen with your body as you enter details or use a machine somewhere else if you feel too uncomfortable to continue.
  10. Tear up any credit card or ATM receipts before you throw them away.
  11. If you shop online, only place orders with your card on secure websites. Check the website's URL - the address displayed should begin with 'https', not just 'http'. Web pages with an active Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypt your data for transmission, so any web page that asks you for sensitive information should be secured using SSL. If not or you're unsure, don't enter your details.
  12. Subscribe to SMS and email notification services that notify you of activity on your account. "Keeping tabs on your transactions will give you a clear picture of when, where and how your money is moving," says Sebidi. "The Discovery app, for example, gives you access to convenient self-service tools so you can manage your money and put stop measures in place quickly and easily."

So don't let carelessness get the better of you - be mindful and keep your guard up against card fraud.


Take your money further with Discovery Miles

Did you know that you can earn Discovery Miles every time you swipe your Discovery Credit Card? You can earn up to 10 times more Discovery Miles by shopping at the wide range of partner stores in the Discovery Miles Multiplier Network. This network covers everything from electronics to toys, sports and outdoor equipment and even convenient daily essentials like your fuel at BP filling stations and daily grocery items from Pick n Pay, Clicks and Dis-Chem.

Spending your Discovery Miles digitally is also easy. You can use them to shop online at partners like Pick n Pay, Dis-Chem and Sportsman's Warehouse, or use them towards your next holiday.

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