Credit cards can be a vital resource, especially in the event of a financial crisis.
However, if your credit card information is stolen, they can also result in many problems, making it all the more vital to ensure that your credit card data is protected.
Even the simplest of modern shopping practices can have a negative impact on your financial security in the United Arab Emirates.
While it may seem convenient and easy to have your credit card information stored on an online shopping website, this should be avoided as it puts that information at great risk.
Fraudsters and credit card thieves can actually steal your credit card information even if your card is still in your possession.
Many people are completely unaware of the theft until it is too late and unauthorised purchases have been made by thieves with the use of their credit card data.
The first sign that many credit card holders in the UAE have that their data has been stolen is when they are hit with fraudulent credit card fees.
Thieves do not have to steal credit card information directly from you but can actually get it from elsewhere within the chain of credit card processing.
Hacking is one method that credit card thieves use to steal credit card information.
Fraudsters can steal this information from a business providing you have made transactions with via your credit card.
Thieves frequently breach companies that are involved with credit card processing on some level and then steal the credit card data, which can be made use of for unauthorised purchases and carrying out transactions online.
Another method of credit card theft is called ‘skimming’.
This refers to a device that finds and steals your credit card information when you are making a legitimate transaction.
The skimmer is secretly placed over the credit card swipe used at gas stations and ATMs, and the thieves then go back to collect the skimmer’s captured data.
Workers such as cashiers and waitresses are often recruited by fraudsters in the UAE to help skim the credit card data of customers.
No one thinks twice about handing their credit card over to a cashier so that the transaction can be processed, but if you are not observant, they may use the skimming device to steal your data right then and there.
Scam phone calls and text messages are another way that fraudsters trick customers into giving them their credit card information.
Fraudsters will even go so far as to set up fake websites to try to fool people into providing their information.
Do not fall for these fake calls or texts, and never provide credit card information unless you are completely sure that you are performing a real transaction with a legitimate business.
Customers should also avoid throwing out documents that contain their complete credit card number, such as payment receipts.
This increases the risk of theft, so be sure to have all such documents shredded before disposal.