How to protect yourself from credit card fraud

Even before the pandemic hit the Philippines, credit card fraud has been rampant in the country. Just last year, there was a recorded increase in fraud cases of almost 30 percent. With the rise of online transactions, fraudsters have found it easy to trick many cardholders into sharing their personal information and using it to steal money through unauthorized transactions.

Due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, the e-commerce industry has grown immensely. From food and groceries to furniture and appliances, almost everything can now be bought online. With just a few taps, purchases can be made without leaving the house. It may be convenient, but these kinds of transactions pose potential risks. One wrong click can cause the leak of sensitive information without the customer knowing it.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are different types of credit card fraud that you should watch out for and how you can avoid them:

Phishing & Vishing

Phishing and Vishing are some of the most common types of credit card fraud in the country. Phishing comes in the form of emails, fake job search sites, banner ads, fake browser toolbars, text messages, and chat room messages. Vishing, which is another type of Phishing, happens in the form of phone calls from scammers pretending to be bank representatives. With Phishing and Vishing, scammers lure their victims into giving their sensitive data by offering fake and too-good-to-be-true promotions or even by claiming that the account has been compromised and will be blocked.

What you can do: Carefully examine the emails and text messages that you receive and do not click on the links right away. For suspicious emails or text messages, contact your bank immediately to verify if the message you received is valid. At the same time, listen carefully to the phone calls you get as scammers can also claim to be bank representatives. When in doubt, it’s better to ignore and not entertain them. Never give your sensitive information to anyone, especially when visiting unverified websites.

Lost or Stolen Cards

You are on your way home when you realize that your wallet is missing and it could have been stolen or it could have fallen somewhere. What’s worse is it contains your debit cards, credit cards, IDs, and cash! Whoever gets it will have access to your credit cards and can use them to make unauthorized transactions under your name. You can only hope that someone with a good heart finds it and returns it to you, but that may not always be the case.

What you can do: If this happens to you, contact your bank right away and report your lost or stolen cards so the bank can block your accounts immediately. Moreover, cardholders should treat their cards like cash. Don’t place your wallet in areas where it can be easily seen and stolen. It is also helpful to have a different pouch for cards and cash so that you do not lose everything if anything happens to your wallet.

Card Replacement Scam

It’s just another normal day when you suddenly receive a call or message asking you to surrender your credit card because it is due for a replacement and an upgrade. You’re probably wondering why. The last time you checked your credit card was working fine. Since it sounds enticing that you’re getting an upgrade, you willingly submit and give up your card. But lo and behold, it’s a scam. Now you don’t have your card and the bill is stacking up because a scammer is using it to make expensive purchases.

What you can do: Always be careful with calls or messages you receive concerning your credit card or bank account. Remember, banks will never ask you to surrender your card even if it is up for replacement. Instead, they will ask you to destroy it or to go to their branch to give you the replacement card.

Skimming

You are out of cash and you need to go to an automated teller machine (ATM). You find the nearest one, insert your card, and withdraw cash. Little did you know, the machine was rigged. Fraudsters installed a device on the machine to skim your card’s magnetic stripe which contains all your sensitive information. Or maybe, you are shopping for a nice bag at the mall and you use your credit card to pay for it. However, the cashier’s credit card terminal has already been tampered, giving fraudsters access to your account.

What you can do: Thankfully, banks have upgraded their credit cards’ microchips and switched to EMV technology, making it harder for skimming devices to collect information from your card. However, cardholders should remain vigilant. Always make sure that all of your credit card transactions happen in your presence. Keep on checking ATMs for skimming devices by shaking the card scanners before inserting your card.

Other ways you can protect yourself from fraudsters and scammers:

One way is to avoid using public WIFI when conducting credit card transactions. It’s difficult to determine if these free WIFI connections have been hacked by fraudsters who are waiting for people to expose their sensitive information.

Another is to ensure that your issuer has your updated contact information so they can reach you for any suspicious and unusual account activities. Remember that issuers will call you to verify transactions, but will not ask for your sensitive information.

When you encounter suspicious activities or unexpected declined transactions, immediately call your bank to check and advise them. You can also use your bank’s mobile app to track your activities. If it has the lock/unlock feature, choose to lock the card when not in use for increased safety. Always be on the lookout as well for notifications from your issuers.

Overall, the very key to avoiding scams is to make sure that your account details are always secured and inaccessible to the public. Never share your personal and sensitive information, like your CVV or one-time-pin (OTP), with anyone! Fraudsters will never be able to take over your account if they do not have these important information.

Today, it is so easy to ‘add to cart’ and ‘check out’, thinking na-budol na naman ako for giving into the temptations of online shopping. But the real and more dangerous budol are the credit card fraudsters who are taking advantage of the online space to trick you into giving away your hard-earned money.

As cardholders, you should take control of your credit card transactions and be extra vigilant before engaging in any online transaction as it is one of the prevalent ways that fraudsters can gain access to your sensitive information. Join the Credit Card Association of the Philippines’ (CCAP) #FightBudolMovement and protect your sensitive information, ward off fraudsters and take charge of your finances!

Follow CCAP on their Facebook page to learn more about CCAP’s campaign.

Header image created by lifeforstock – www.freepik.com

4 reasons to update your home furniture over the holidays

The holiday season and the transition to a new year presents us with many reasons to makeover our homes.

Updating our home furniture is a great way to usher in some good vibes over the holidays and gear us up to face the new year.

If you find yourself vacillating on whether to replace your old furniture with new ones, here are reasons that should get you started:

1) You get to update your home’s style.

Your style preferences – may it be modern, minimalist, shabby chic or retro – may have changed over the past year and replacing your old furniture will allow your home to be more in line with your personal style.

Also, you wouldn’t want to present your holiday visitors with stained or run-down furniture, would you? Getting new pieces will help you come up with a more presentable home for hosting get-togethers.

2) You get ensure your family’s continued comfort.

Your little ones may have outgrown their old beds or the couch may be sagging in places. Updating your furniture will allow you and your family to enjoy that feeling of solace and relaxation again which is what being home for the holidays is all about.

3) You get to maximize your home’s available space.

Replacing your old pieces with dual-purpose or space-saving furniture may improve your home’s flow and use of space.

4) You get to take advantage of awesome sales.

If you’re worried that doing a home makeover will put a strain on your budget, well, fret not.

From December 13 to 15, Sogo Home and Office Center will hold an Installment Madness in its 15 branches where furniture shoppers can avail of 0% interest on installment for a minimum purchase of Php12,000 using any major credit card.

SOGO Installment Madness

With this promo, buyers can update the pieces in their living room…

SOGO Installment Madness

SOGO Installment Madness

… dining room…

SOGO Installment Madness

SOGO Installment Madness

… bedroom…

SOGO Installment Madness

SOGO Installment Madness

and more!

PLUS Buy Now Pay 2020 offer on all major credit cards will also be available.

SOGO Home and Office Center has been providing furniture at Everyday Low Prices since the early 1990’s. Today, it boasts of over 15 locations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces that offer everything you need for your home at incredibly low prices. From room packages, Buy 1 Take 1 Deals and great offers across furniture categories such as sofas, dining sets, beds & mattresses, decors and office furniture, SOGO Home and Office Center has everything you need for your home.

True to its tagline “Everyday Low Prices” SOGO Home and Office Center makes sure that it’s always affordable to furnish your home. Payment options through cash, card installment or even financing aim to help young professionals that are starting to build their dream houses, newly married couples that starting new family and even those families that are renovating their homes.

For more details, visit its website to check more of Sogo’s products or you visit any of its branches near you.

METRO MANILA BRANCHES:

4F 168 SHOPPING MALL, MANILA CITY
Tel# 8-708-4932 Cp# 09369912289

LGF ALIMALL CUBAO, QUEZON CITY
Tel# 8-912-6603 Cp# 09369912288

2F DOÑA CONCEPCION BLDG. ARNAIZ AVE., SAN LORENZO MAKATI CITY
Tel# 7-728-5760 Cp# 09369912295

2F AYALA MALLS MARIKINA CITY
Tel# 8-638-1004 Cp# 09266565721

LGF AYALA MALLS SOUTH PARK, ALABANG MUNTINLUPA CITY
Tel# 8-541-1270 Cp# 09055196370

2F CW HOME DEPOT COMMONWEALTH, QUEZON CITY
Tel# 8-277-6935 Cp# 09173465637

Level 3, AYALA MALLS CIRCUIT, MAKATI CITY
Tel# 8-425-2430 Cp# 09770971985

LGS RIVERGREEN RESIDENCES, STA. ANA, MANILA CITY [EXHIBIT]
Tel# 8-523-1449 Cp# 09770971987

4F ROBINSONS METRO EAST, PASIG CITY
Tel# 8-647-5901 Cp# 09369912290

2F ROBINSONS FORUM, MANDALUYONG CITY
Tel# 8-687-9816 Cp# 09369912291

2F ZABARTE TOWN CENTER, CALOOCAN CITY
Tel# 8-962-4186 Cp# 09369912292

PROVINCIAL BRANCHES:

3F ROBINSONS GALLERIA SOUTH, SAN PEDRO LAGUNA (NEW)
Tel# 8-353-6598 Cp# 09959609219

GF ROBINSONS PLACE DASMARIÑAS CAVITE
Tel# 8-425-0791 Cp# 09154080962

4F ROBINSONS PLACE IMUS CAVITE
Tel# 8-425-0783 Cp# 09266680727

2F CW HOME DEPOT IMUS CAVITE
Tel# 8-245-9497 Cp# 09055196332

Promo details provided by SOGO Home and Office Center in a recent press release.