India ranked third in credit card fraud as per a study in 2015, topped by UAE and China and almost rubbing shoulders with the USA. It is reported 41% of card holders have faced fraudulent charges on their cards, especially vulnerable being credit cards.

In India, as per regulations, the credit card holding company is not liable for any fraud bills unless the card holder reports immediately. This makes it imperative that you keep an eye on your phone messages and related notifications. Knowing how this cyber crime takes place should help you be more aware and avoid the thief’s traps. Here are the ways credit card fraud can happen –

Catching the careless

Never write down a pin number or throw away documents with any kind of banking or card information on them. You will just make their work easier. If any card or documents need to be destroyed, make sure you shred it into unreadable pieces or incinerate it if possible.

Never post pictures of your card anywhere – do not send password or card numbers through email. Emails can be hacked without your knowledge. If you have to, make sure you send card and password information combining through email, sms and other media so that all of it is not together.

Related: This is how Gmail gets hacked

Fake phone calls

A common method to steal your vital data is by making rogue phone calls, according to a senior police official at Mumbai’s cyber crime department. The caller will pretend to be a bank executive and will direct the customer to tell their card detail, address or PIN number over the phone. Sometimes, they put an offer of card upgrade. They might also scare the customers by warning that the card would get cancelled if they do not follow the instructions. Educated professionals to low income workers – many have been baited by this trick. It is also a common way to fool the senior citizens.

In the same way these fake calls are made through email requesting your vital card information. Harmless information such as your address or mother’s maiden name can be used against you.

credit card

Login info in a public or unsecured system

Make sure you clear your login and password details every time you use a public computer or a system without security or antivirus software. Hackers target these devices and it is not difficult for them to extract your information. It is always better to clean cache and saved passwords from the browser.

Also remember to check the login URL when you enter your information, i.e. or A very common way to ‘phish’ you is to create a website page looking similar to your bank login. So always keep an eye on the URL.

Related: 5 ways your Facebook can get hacked

Password updating

Change your password regularly and make sure it is not too easily guessable. It is always safer to use words of your ethnic language or mother tongue than English. Also if you do your transactions from your mobile phone, keep it securely locked at all times.

Related: Swachh Bharat aims to clean your computers

Keep an eye on credit card bills

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on your credit card bill. There are many ways a thief can get to you – perhaps someone whom you may have handed the card might have photographed it. That means both the card and CVV numbers are in his grip.

If you feel you have detected fraudulent activity, notify immediately the bank which has issued the card so that they can freeze your account. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to file a complaint to your local police department. It is also safer to check all of your other accounts and be attentive on your bills.