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"Your Rough Guide to UK Credit Cards"

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Credit Card Protection

Stolen cards / Fraud

Minimising the risk

If your card is lost or stolen

Internet card fraud

Anti fraud guarantees

Emergency cards / cash

Stolen cards / Fraud

Fraud is common. Your card could be used by someone else relatively easily. While retailers should always check your signature, tests have shown that even bad forgeries usually get away with it.

You're normally liable for any losses up to £50 until you report your card lost or stolen.

Your card can be used fraudulently on the phone just by someone knowing your name, the number and expiry date. This could be easily obtained from a carbon copy of a transaction slip taken from a bin or whatever. So be careful how you dispose of these. The experts say you should keep these anyway for your records...

An unscrupulous trader - who you've used the card with - could do the same, so bear that in mind when deciding to use it - rather than cash - somewhere new.

Skimming is copying your card details for forging onto a false one ie you don't know it's been used until you get your statement.

The average stolen on a card is £2000.

Skimming can be done quickly with a small gizmo - which could easily be hidden in a waiter's pocket. It's made possible by the continued use of magnetic strips rather than microchips in most credit cards.

The credit card industry doesn't really have to worry about improving security. They don't have to pay for any losses. That's down to the poor old retailers.

If someone has used a stolen card to buy something from them, the retailer is liable to repay it. So they lose the goods and get a "chargeback" - which is when the card provider takes the money out of their bank whether the retailer agrees to it or not.

When you consider that the card providers also get 3 to 5% of the value of any goods paid for with their cards, you can understand why retailers, especially the small ones, despise them.

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Minimising the risk

Fill in the card receipt fully, drawing lines through empty boxes ie so the amount can't be changed etc.

Always keep your card in sight.

If throwing them away, tear up the carbon copies and dispose of carefully

Always go through your monthly card statement carefully. If there are any transactions you don't recognise, call your card issuer immediately.

Be wary about who you pay over the phone. Reputable companies only

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If your card is lost or stolen

Report it to the police

Get a crime incident number from the police. (This is essential for any insurance claim).

Tell the issuer immediately

If you have lost your wallet, besides the general shock, you've got the major headache of calling around all your card issuers.

However if you've taken out a policy with a specialist card protection company then all you have to do is make one call and they'll handle the rest for you

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Internet card fraud

This is less commonplace than imagined. It's much easier for fraud to happen as a result of telephone transactions.

Think about it. What's easier. Using the card details someone's given you over the phone or cracking a code that would take the average hacker about 1000 years and a lot of pizza.

What does seem to happen is errors on websites whereby customers credit cards and personal details are revealed to the world in all their naked glory.

This has even happened on the Consumers Association website - so who's perfect?

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Anti fraud guarantees

Some of these may be a bit of a con eg an offer of cover which made you pay for the first £50 loss would only be giving you what you've already got under the Consumer Credit Act.

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Emergency cards / cash

The card issuer may offer to sort you out quickly if you've lost your card particularly while on holiday. Most card issuers do this anyway, but not all, so check.

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Credit Card Guide

What is a credit card... The usual terms... How to apply for a creditcard

Interest and Credit Cards... Low interest credit cards... When does the interest charge start... How interest is calculated.. How to get interest-free credit... The APR and Credit Cards...

Introductory deals / special offers... Crad Introductory interest rates...

Card Purchase protection... Faulty goods... Anti fraud guarantees... Emergency cards / cash... CreditCard Protection... Stolen cards / Fraud... Internet crad fraud...

Reward schemes... Cashbacks... Cash withdrawals... Holidays and your card... Free Travel Insurance...

Never heard of the card issuer?...

Minimum payment amounts... Credit Card Statements... Annual Fee... Late Credit Card payments... Credit Limit...


All material UK Credit Card Guide and Information © Moneysorter Ltd 1999 - 2013 | Author: By Ed Parry