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Card Safety Tips

While cardholders may toss their keys and their mobile phones into their pockets and purses, it is never a good idea to carry a credit card on its own outside of your wallet. A credit card can easily get misplaced or stolen, yet tends to stay put when resting within a slot in your wallet.

It can be a good idea to have certain credit cards that you don't use every day, such as cards that are for travel or for your use at certain retailers. If that is the case, it is best to leave those cards at home in a safe place. That way, should you lose your wallet or purse, you limit the number of credit cards you need to replace.

Not all credit card theft is high-tech, and one of the most common ways that thieves traditionally target credit card user is by intercepting their mail. If your mail box at home is vulnerable to theft, consider having new cards sent to your office or to pick them up directly from the Bank. Even if mail is rarely stolen in your area, be sure to have your mail held if you are away from home for some time.

Another way that thieves can gain access to your account is by gleaning information from your statements. These statements can contain credit card data that can be used to steal your identity. In addition, statements and other mailings often contain so-called convenience checks, which are ripe for fraud.

Our lives are more public now than at any time in the past. Too often, this information can be used to fool a credit card issuer into giving access to thieves. Once they have stolen your identity, their next step is to change your address and order new credit cards sent there. If personal information, such as your mother's maiden name, is already out on the Internet, consider changing your security codes to something else.

As countless retail security breaches have proved, there may never be a way to prevent hackers from acquiring credit card data however cardholders do not have to be responsible for unauthorized charges. But there is one catch. Cardholders have to spot the fraudulent charges and report them to their banks. The only way to do so is to go through your credit card statements and consider each charge. Unfortunately, some merchants process their charges under names that their customers might not be familiar with.

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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).