Our 4 Tips For Giving Your Credit Card Over The Phone
There’s a reason why businesses often add on a convenience fee to your purchase when you make it over the phone. For them, there’s higher risk that the consumer on the other end is a fraudster using a stolen credit card, and it’s harder to verify your identity when you are face-to-face at the cashier checkout.
But as the consumer, you should have ways to protect yourself as well. Here are some things to consider before and after you give your credit card number over the phone.
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Things You Can Do To Prevent Future Lost Or Stolen Credit Cards
There are a lot of ways to lose a credit card. You might lose your walletand your card. You might leave your card at a checkout counter. You might slip it into your purse only to have it slip out.
Its a good idea to take steps to help prevent the loss or theft of a credit card in the future.
Here are some suggestions, along with a few tips to consider just in case you do lose a card:
- Carry only the cards you need.
- Keep your credit card securely in your wallet or purse. Dont break with routine and, say, slip your card in a breast pocket or top of your sock.
- Cut up old credit cards before you throw them away. Make sure you cut through the account number.
- Keep track of your cards and store ones you dont use in a secure place.
- Keep a record of your credit card information in a safe location. Consider including account numbers, expiration dates, and telephone numbers for each issuer. That way, youll be ready to report a lost or stolen credit card when you need to.
- Check your credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Look for charges you dont think you made.
- Guard your account number. Identity thieves don’t always need your credit card to commit identity fraud. The account number might be enough. Be careful not to write your account number down on paper or anywhere someone might find it.
- Avoid sharing your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call. And dont forget to make sure no one is eavesdropping.
Thats what friends do.
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About The Email Address
While your credit card company probably has your email on file so they can send you promotional and administrative information, its not used to validate your credit card when you check out.
At a minimum, the credit card company uses the expiration date to confirm youre holding the card in your hand. They also often, but not always, check the billing address you provide against that registered for the account, as well as the extended validation code that may be requested from the back or front of your card. They may also use your phone number.
But the email address means nothing to them when it comes to proving youre the rightful credit card owner.
In fact, its possible the merchant didnt even require a valid email address at all. Its obviously not good business practice, but the email address is generally used only to send informational messages like sales receipts messages your thief wont care about at all.
Obviously, if the product was to be delivered via email, thats another matter. The email address had to be valid at least long enough for the thief to get the delivery. Before and after that? It could be completely bogus.
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Missing A Child Tax Credit Payment Here’s How To Track It
If your December child tax credit check, or a previous month’s check, never arrived, we’ll tell you how to trace it.
If you haven’t received your child tax credit check, it could be late.
The monthly child tax credit payments have come to an end, but more money is coming next year. However, if you still haven’t received any checks or if you’re missing money from one of the months, you’re not alone. Many parents have faced child tax credit problems each month since the payments started. We can help you figure out what’s going on with your money.
For past payments, we found that if only one parent in a married household made a correction to banking info or a mailing address, it could have reduced the amount of the payment. Also, parents might have received more money than they qualify for due to outdated tax information from old returns, and inaccurate payment amounts could affect their taxes in 2022.
We’re here to help you figure out how to track your check online using the IRS Update Portal and file a payment trace if a few weeks have passed and there’s no sign of your money. Here’s the latest on the child tax credit extension. We’ve updated this story.
Keep Your Account Number Private
Dont let anyone see your card when youre out in public. Be selective when giving your account number over the phone only offer it when you initiated the call and youre talking to a bank or merchant you trust. Be suspicious of messages you receive over email, text, phone or social media, asking you to give personal information or click a suspicious link.
Consider paperless statements and making payments online to remove your sensitive information from the postal system. Its also a good idea to shred documents with sensitive personal information before you trash them.
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Look Out For Cvv Code Theft Scams
Your CVV code is designed to protect you and your card issuer against fraud. CVV codes are not stored by the merchant, which means there’s an added layer of protection against fraud in the event of a data breach. But someone could obtain your account number andyour CVV number and use them to make fraudulent purchases. This fraud can happen in a couple of different ways.
- Phishing Scam: You might be sent an email that looks like it came from your credit card company asking you to verify your account number and CVV code. Without knowing you’re being scammed, you’ve just handed over your card information to an identity thief who could then clone your card and use it for unauthorized purchases. Credit card companies will never ask for this information, but if you have any questions, contact your .
- Keylogging: Essentially, this is a type of tracking code that can be lurking on an insecure website. When you visit the website and type in your card details, a hacker can use a keylogger program to record your information, including your CVV number. Keylogging can also be introduced to your PC via malware, so be sure that you have a robust, up-to-date antivirus product installed on your computer.
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The Anatomy Of A Card
Debit and credit cards are like financial fingerprints. The numbers imprinted on them serve as would-be DNA, with each digit representing distinguishing aspects of the card, such as who uses it, who approved it, and the cardâs purpose. Therefore, the pattern of these numbers varies significantly on each card.
Front of the card
Bank branding: This refers to who issued the card. Your card will say either âDebit/Access Cardâ or âCredit Cardâ along the top.
Card number: This is the entire 16-digit sequence printed on the front surface and is one of the pieces of information youâre required to hand over when shopping online.
Cardholderâs name: This is also known as the person who is authorized to use the card.
Smart chip: This is the small metallic-looking square typically on the left side of the card. It is there for security purposes.
Expiration date: This appears in smaller print below the row of 16 digits. Like driverâs licenses, cards are only good for a certain amount of time. Before the expiration date arrives, the bank will mail you a new one.
Payment network logo: This refers to the type of card you are using, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. Typically, you can locate this in the bottom right-hand corner. Again, when paying online or in-store, many businesses require you to select your card type, as not every establishment will accept the same kind of card.
Back of the card
What Could Happen To The Cardholder
Say someone else found the lost credit card before you did, used it to make purchases, then tossed it so they wouldn’t be caught with it. Legally, a cardholder can be responsible for up to $50 of purchases made on a lost credit card depending on how long it takes the cardholder to report the missing credit card.
On the other hand, if a cardholder has lost their debit card , they could lose all the money taken from their account. This may happen if it takes the cardholder some time to notice the card is missing and report it to the bank.
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Check Your Account Often
Reviewing your recent account activity is fundamental to credit card safetyand its easy to do. You can do it using the banks app, online or over the phone. Most card issuers also let you set up email or text alerts to inform you and your issuer about unusual activity. If youve been a victim of fraud or identity theft in the past, consider signing up with a credit-monitoring service. Learn more about Bank of Americas fraud protection and monitoring services.
What Happens If Your Credit Card Information Is Stolen
Although card-not-present fraud is a big problem for retailers and service providers that accept virtual card payments, you shouldnt have to worry about losing money yourself to a credit card scam.
Credit card holders are protected from liability by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Most card issuers also go beyond the requirements of the law by promising customers that they wont pay a penny if their card information is illegally used by someone else.
See related: How to report and protect yourself from credit card fraud
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Finding The Lost Credit Card’s Owner
Your first instinct might be to track down the owner of the credit card. It sounds like the noble thing to do, and it’s probably what most of us would prefer if we’d lost a credit card.
The internet and social media make it easier than ever to find people. You might consider doing a Google or Facebook search to locate the credit card owner, but there’s a huge risk of giving the card to the wrong person. Besides a name, credit cards don’t contain any other identifying information you can use to verify that you’re giving the card to the right cardholder.
Unless the cardholder has a very rare name, it may not be easy to be sure you’ve found the correct person. And do you want to take on the responsibility of verifying that you’re giving the card to the rightful cardholder?
When To Share Your Credit Card Security Code
In most cases, you should share your credit card security number only if youre making a virtual transaction online or over the phone.
In industry-speak, this is called a card-not-present transaction. Since the merchant cant verify your identity by physically checking your drivers license or by asking you to sign a receipt or enter a PIN, they may ask you for this special number instead before theyll process your transaction.
Merchants arent required to use a security code to process a payment, though. So you may come across online retailers who dont ask for it.
In rare cases, you may be asked to share your security code in person if a merchant, such as a vendor at a conference or a crafter at a fair, processes your card manually using a credit card imprinter or writes your card information on a piece of paper.
In this scenario, proceed with extra caution. Under PCI Security Standards, merchants are discouraged from storing your security code once theyve processed a transaction. But a smaller business or hobbyist accepting manual card payments may not have such stringent security practices.
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What Format Should Data Be Provided In Accepting User Inputs And Reducing Errors
Card numbers can be typed by users:
- As one single long number
- As four sets of four numbers separated by dashes
- As four sets of four numbers separated by spaces
You have two choices in how to deal with this
For option 2 above, you can either transform the data âin real timeâ as the user is typing, or change the data at the point of submission. Our advice would be the latter, since the former is effectively just a way to restrict user inputs, the difference being that you are explicitly showing the user how you are doing this.
However, if you are only going to accept one format, help users avoid mistakes. One way to do this is to restrict inputs within a card field to numeric characters only – this will also ignore space bar presses too.
This form, adds spaces in as you type them, so the number reflects the layout on the front of a card:
Viruses Worms And Other Malware:
Malware is another leading method of virtual identity theft. These invasive programs can obtain your credit card in several different ways: Keystroke Loggers track everything you type . When you enter a credit card number, the program recognizes it and sends it to the developer. Info Stealers search through files on your computer. If you have your card number saved in a program file or written on a document somewhere on your computer, the info stealer can copy it and send it to the developer.
This malware can make its way onto your computer in many different forms. Identifying these forms and how they work is your first line of protection.
VirusesComputer viruses work in the same way as biological viruses. When a biological virus infects a cell, it will create copies of itself by hijacking the cells machinery these copies then spread like wildfire through the body. Similarly, a computer virus will spread by using infected files/programs to create copies of itself. This feature makes viruses a useful tool for info stealing, as they can quickly search through thousands of documents.
To protect yourself from credit card stealing malware,
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