While credit and debit cards are a very safe way to pay for goods or services or to withdraw cash, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your card and card details are kept safe.
Most Irish and European issued payment cards now use “Chip and PIN” technology meaning they contain a micro-chip that helps prevent the physical card being copied (counterfeited) and used fraudulently. However, due to the fact that some countries have not yet introduced “Chip and PIN”, Irish cards that are counterfeited can still be used to make fraudulent ATM withdrawals or pay for goods and services in some countries outside Europe.
Treat your card like cash. Keep it safe at all times. A card with a PIN is a very valuable thing to a criminal. A card without a PIN is also of value to a criminal as it can be used in some online stores.
It is important to keep your PIN safe and shield it when you are entering it. Card data that has been skimmed can be sold in the criminal underworld especially if it includes the PIN of the card. Skimmed card data can easily be passed to criminals in countries that do not yet have Chip and PIN who then use it to create a counterfeit card to withdraw cash from ATMs.
Cheque Fraud – Although cheque usage in Ireland has declined significantly, fraudsters continue to use cheques as a means to make money and defraud customers. Some key advice contained under the cheque fraud link below will help you to use them safely.
Keep your card in a safe place at all times. Do not leave it lying around. Report it to your bank immediately if it is lost or stolen. Keep your PIN safe. Do not write it down, keep it with your card or give it to anyone.
If you are expecting a card or a PIN in the post and it does not arrive, notify your card issuer immediately. Remember, if you do not protect your payment card or PIN, or if you give them to someone else, you may be held liable for any unauthorised transactions
Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive from your bank or card issuer. Ensure that you cut up the old cards as soon as the new ones become valid.
Cover your PIN when making in-store purchases or using an ATM. Use your free hand or your wallet to shield the PIN pad as you enter it. Keep your card in sight when paying for goods or services. If the till is not nearby, go with the staff member to make the payment.
Retain receipts to reconcile them against your card or bank statement. Check your account regularly and report any suspicious or unrecognised transactions immediately.
Be suspicious if given a cheque for a greater amount then agreed and you are asked for change