Did you know that one UAE resident in 10 has been the victim of online credit card fraud? That statistic was revealed in a survey this year by Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) and showed that the most notorious category of credit card scams was fraudulent transactions or stolen credit card details. Other scams included debit for a wrong purchase, no product delivery and cardholders being duped by fake websites.
In times when credit cards are an easier way to pay for almost everything, we often overlook the possible risks. According to a report by Network International, domestic spending on cards in the UAE increased by 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the same period last year, suggesting that residents are increasingly using their cards for purchases and need to be more aware of scams.
While you may think debit or ATM cards are less risky, they are still a hot target for scammers. Popular ATM scams include shoulder surfing to obtain your pin code and phishing emails that trick you into giving out your personal details. Other advanced scams include use of skimming devices, fake keypads and cash trapping equipment.
To safeguard yourself from losing your savings at the hands of fraudsters take precautionary measures wherever possible. Here the team from the financial comparison website Souqalmal.com lists its tips to protect you from being scammed at the ATM:
• Use your bank’s SMS service which informs you of purchased items and withdrawals to keep up-to-date with your purchases.
• Do not use machines which look dodgy or tampered with. Use ATMs within banks or inside malls. Avoid using free-standing cash machines which can be easily targeted by scammers.
• Make sure that the person behind you does not get a view of your PIN. Cover the keypad to prevent any hidden cameras from recording your PIN.
• Contact your bank immediately if your card is jammed or confiscated. Do not leave the ATM while you call them to resolve the issue.
• Do not rely on the help of strangers to retrieve your card if it gets stuck.
• Do not share your card information with anyone, especially the PIN. Jot down your pin code in a password protector app on your phone instead of writing it down on a piece of paper.
• Do not hand over your card to any unauthorised person.
• Be cautious in giving out information to people who call you or send emails. Most banks warn customers against sharing their PIN or other sensitive information with bank personnel.
• Trust your instincts. If something seems strange with an ATM machine or the people around it, just walk away.
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