Over the last few days it has come to light that a global syndicate has been skimming Indian credit card users for the last 2 months. Several cases have been reported where people’s credit card bills and registered mobile numbers have shown fraudulent and unauthorized transactions. It is believed that the total unauthorized transactions so far amount to more than Rs. 30 crore.
Bankers believe that the stolen credit card information has been gathered via compromised retail outlets and stores. Such stores possess card swiping machines which can be skimmed by hackers to reveal the details of all cards that are swiped through them. Once the card information has been gained, it can be utilized to carry out fraudulent online transactions or the card itself can even be physically cloned.
With that in mind, here are some useful tips for credit card users:
- When carrying out a transaction in a retail store or restaurant, ensure that the card is not taken away from your view. If this is not possible, use cash instead.
- Do not use your credit card at every retail store that you visit.
- While using an ATM, ensure that the machine does not seem tampered with or rigged. Also be aware of any suspicious activity or person around you.
- When carrying out an online transaction, use the virtual keypad to enter your card number and other details.
- Ensure that your mobile number is registered with your credit card so that you receive an SMS every time a transaction is completed.
- Install an effective anti-phishing software on your computer especially if you carry out online transactions.
In good news, domestic portals in India are better equipped to deal with such cases. Online credit card transactions here require the buyer to give his name, card number, expiry date, CVV number and his online banking password. For international transactions, the online banking password is unnecessary. However, this also means that fraudulent transactions are mostly carried out in foreign currencies.
The affected banks claim that customers who can prove that they did not make a transaction will get a refund, but this will need to be processed and investigated efficiently. Some banks also take insurance covers if fraudulent transactions cross certain limits. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also issued a mandate that requires banks to adopt chip-based cards for international transactions by June 2013.
We will update our readers when further developments regarding this global syndicate are revealed.