According to data from ride-hailing company Grab, Singaporeans would be the most well-travelled within the Southeast Asian region. Another survey conducted in 2021 revealed that Singaporeans are some of the most likely in Asia to make overseas purchases, only trailing behind Hong Kong.
However, our penchant for shopping online and frequent travels indicates we're also more susceptible to card fraud.
Though safeguards for example One-Time Passwords for online transactions are already implemented by card issuers, there's more that we can (and really should) do to lower the risk of becoming another victim of fraudulent transactions.
#1 Disable Overseas Card Usage When In Singapore
The disabling of card usage for overseas was introduced Singapore-wide in 2021 by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), following a major ATM card-skimming fraud that occurred in January 2012, in which around $1 million was stolen in the accounts of 700 local bank customers.
By disabling overseas charge card usage, your debit and credit cards cannot be employed for overseas retail purchases outside of Singapore. This ensures that credit card details on your magstripe cannot be used fraudulently overseas, even if they were to become skimmed.
To love this particular safety feature, you'll have to cope with the minor inconvenience of activating the magstripe function whenever you want to apply your card for overseas trips.
#2 Keep Your Cards Within Sight
When you are out shopping or dining – especially overseas – always be sure to maintain your card within sight when making payments.
While cards with EMV chips can difficult to be replicated because of encryption, skimmers continue to be capable of making use of your card info on the magnetic stripe.
By keeping the card inside your sights, you deter skimmers from scrumptiously extracting data from your card and taking advantage of the information in future for fraudulent transactions.
#3 Consider Signs of Skimming When utilizing ATMs Overseas
It pays to gentle when making withdrawals from ATMs overseas, because there happen to be documented installments of card skimmers installed at ATMs to steal card information.
While there is no foolproof method to completely detect a card skimmer in ATMs, you can reduce the risk with good basic ATM habits.
Before using an ATM, you should first examine the card reader for signs of tampering. Card readers should be sturdily attached to the machine. Should there be glue marks or tape sticking round the reader, or loose bits of plastic or equipment sticking out in the reader, the reader might be compromised.
You should also take note of keypads with unusual thickness, as thieves could use an imitation keypad to capture your PIN number.
If you do find something suspicious, avoid using the ATM and call the financial institution immediately to report your suspicions.
#4 Checking The Legitimacy And Security Of Website and Internet Connection
Coming to shopping online, taking a few simple steps will go quite a distance in ensuring reassurance.
Always transact at a trusted site, and beware of misspellings of websites that use a different top-level domain, such as “.net” rather than “.com”. Other tell-tale indications of a spoofed website include not having a legitimate SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate, which your browser will flag by not showing a padlock icon right beside the address bar.
You should also stay away from shared computers or public Wifi connections when making transactions online, as private information could be captured easily over poorly-secured shared facilities.
#5 Sign up for Bank's In-App, SMS Or Email Transaction Alerts
Depending on the services supplied by your card issuer, most will offer notification services via in-app notification, SMS or e-mail for each transaction made in your card.
Notifications like this may appear annoying, but it can be useful to notify you of transactions that are fraudulent, especially for an atm card. This lets you immediately contact the credit card issuer to bar your card from further unauthorised transactions.
#6 Check Transactions Regularly
It is a good habit to check on your transactions online regularly and thoroughly to spot fraudulent charges. If you do, notify your card provider immediately to prevent further losses and potentially protect yourself from liability.
While most card providers give a $100 liability cap on fraudulent charge card transactions before the loss is reported to the bank, this cover only pertains to cardholders who informed the financial institution on the loss of card or discovery of fraud immediately upon discovery.
Preventing card fraud is a shared responsibility between banks and cardholders. By adopting good habits if you shop overseas or online, you are able to minimise the risk of becoming a victim and still enjoy the convenience and benefits that cards confer.