Security when it comes to our finances has never been more important. Most credit card companies and banks have taken plenty of action over the years to try and prevent fraud, but as our technology is advancing – the fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their scams.
It has always been ill advised to give anybody your credit card details but sometimes you need to in order to purchase items and services over the telephone, by email or online, or even in person.
But, is that safe? Should you give your credit card number over the phone?
That’s what we are going to answer for you.
It is best advised that you do not give your credit card details to anybody who is not reputable or anybody you do not trust. In order for somebody to make a transaction using your credit card, they will normally need all of your credit card details including the CV2 number on the back, often referred to as a security number.
This security number is crucial in fighting against fraud as it confirms to the merchant the identity of the customer.
By purchasing something online or over the phone, the transaction is classified as a “card not present” or CNP. Basically, even if somebody manages to photograph or obtain the details on the front of your credit card, they will not be able to pass the security check.
Handy Tips For Staying Safe Using Your Credit Card Over The Phone
Businesses typically charge what’s known as a convenience fee for transactions over the telephone. This is because any risk of credit card fraud is much higher with this type of transaction – you will find it difficult to confirm your identity over the phone rather than in person.
Having said that, we have some tips to stay safe when using your card over the phone:
Did You Make The Call?
If you did not initiate the phone call, never give any financial details or personal details over the phone. Even if the person on the line sounds genuine, they could be phishing for your confidential information in order to make fraudulent purchases, or even steal your identity.
If you receive a suspicious call asking for details, hang up immediately. It’s helpful to note down any number they have called from and give those details to law enforcement.
Privacy Is Key
If you are making a genuine transaction over the phone, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not in a public area where someone could be listening and taking notes or recording your credit card information.
Ensure that you’re giving your credit card details over the phone at home, in a private space and as quiet as possible.
Confirm The Purchase
Having made a purchase over the phone, ask the person to confirm everything back to you. It’s wise to ask for email confirmation whilst on the phone. Most places like hotels or clothing stores can send you email confirmations within moments, so this is one sure fire way to have peace of mind.
It also acts as evidence, should things not go as planned.
Always Check Your Account
For many of us, frequent checking of our finances is easy via apps and online banking – but for some of us, it isn’t that simple. It is always wise to check your account that you’ve made the transaction with immediately after the call, to confirm they’ve taken the correct and agreed amount.
If nothing has been taken, or too much has been taken – this could be evidence of a fraudster. Contact your credit card supplier immediately.
What Should I Do If Something Isn’t Right?
If you suspect you might have been, or will be, a victim of a fraudster – the best thing to do is to contact your credit card supplier (their number should be on the card) and tell them your concerns. Credit card companies have many ways to fight against fraud, especially if they’re ready for it.
They can review transactions and contact you immediately after one has been made, they can freeze or cancel your card or they can refuse the next transaction until they’ve confirmed it with you, to assess fraud.
If you have taken any of the caller’s details, it will help the credit card company going forward. If they do turn out to be fraudulent, the credit card company can stop other people being victims of the same scam.
If the call was in your area and you suspect fraud, contact local law enforcement with the details. They may be able to put an investigative team on it (depending on the law in that area). Remember, your consumer rights are exactly the same, whether purchases were made in person, online or over the phone.
Transactions using your credit card are more safe than debit card purchases. This is because of the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). Consumer’s liability is limited to $50 – meaning anything over $50 can be disputed, but must be done within 60 days of the alleged fraudulent activity.
Credit card companies have developed some expert tools to protect people against fraud, and many have their own unique features.
Most credit cards have a lock or freeze feature, which allows you to control your card via your credit card app. This is a good way to fight fraud, particularly if you’re unsure if the call you made was genuine or not. Until you have information, you can use this tool.
Some credit cards have a feature called dark web monitoring – which allows them to know if your card has been used via the dark web or other suspicious sites. They will immediately be on alert and likely freeze your card before confirming a valid transaction.
Perhaps the best feature offered by some is the virtual credit card number. This allows customers to provide a virtual credit card number to a merchant. If fraud happens, your real credit card number is not compromised.
You can dispute the charge and have a new virtual card number, without the hassle of having to get a new credit card sent to you.
It is not advisable to give your credit card number out over the phone, but if you must do – make sure you follow some of these handy tips to protect yourself against potential fraud. Stay safe.