Share everything with peace of mind. Except your bank cards.
Some things in life, such as that piece of cake, the CD signed by your favourite artist, or your partner, are best kept to yourself. And the same applies to your bank cards and bank details, too.
Eleven tips for avoiding bank card fraud
1. Don't use the autofill feature
When you shop online, you usually have the option of saving your card details or having them entered automatically using the autofill feature, both in your browser and in the online shop itself. It goes without saying that this is convenient for the next time you shop online. But it's also true that it's handy for thieves who go the extra mile to discover your card details.
2. Make sure you see the padlock
If you use your bank cards to shop online, make sure you only visit trusted and secure sites. You can recognise such sites as they always start with https:// (where the s stands for secure) and have a padlock at the start of the website address. Beware, however, as the chance of you accidentally typing in an incorrect letter and ending up on a fraudulent copy of a website cannot be ruled out.
3. Erase computers and smartphones that you no longer use
If you're thinking it's time for a new smartphone, tablet or computer, make sure you completely erase the memory before you sell your old device or take it to be recycled. And if you want to be particularly thorough, you can find out how to destroy the hard drive using a hammer, a drill, a microwave or even on the shooting range here. All at your own risk, of course...
4. Use anti-virus software
Install anti-virus software and make sure it is updated regularly. There are a whole host of viruses out there that can track keystrokes and log-in details, meaning you can fall victim to an attack without even noticing.
5. Destroy unwanted documents
Your waste paper bin is a goldmine for fraudsters, with old invoices, receipts, correspondence from the bank and more besides. You should therefore shred all sensitive documents that contain sensitive information.
6. Use a strong PIN
If you have 1234 or 1111 as your PIN, it's an absolute gift for fraudsters. What's more, PINs based on your postcode or year of birth make it all too easy for thieves, too.
7. Shield your card
Use your free hand to shield the keypad when entering your PIN. Follow your intuition if you feel eyes burning into the back of your neck or if someone is talking to you while you're standing at the cashpoint or executing a transaction.
8. Beware of phishing
Never give your PINs out over the phone, on social media, by e-mail or by text. Ignore messages containing a link to a (fake) payment site or a (counterfeit) app or site claiming to belong to your bank. Online banking fraud happens more often than you think: fraudsters took €6,417,078 from Belgian accounts in the first half of 2019. And in the first nine months of the year, the Centre for Cyber Security Belgium (CCB) received around one million reports of suspicious e-mails. Finally, you should also make sure you never send your bank card or card details in the post.
9. Beware of skimming
When skimming occurs, your bank card details are transferred to a blank card, with your card's magnetic strip being copied and your PIN being obtained when you execute a transaction. As bank cards have a chip, skimming rarely takes place. It's only in more exotic places – usually in shady shops or restaurants – that you'll find skimming equipment. But you never know!
10. Check your account statements regularly
If you check your statements regularly, you'll quickly notice any suspicious transactions. You should also pay attention to small amounts, as these could be a sign of something more serious.
11. Save Card Stop's number in your phone
Doing so will save you valuable time if your card is lost or stolen. You can contact Card Stop 24/7 on +32 (0)70 344 344.