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Tips for card security

Article provided by Visa

Using your Visa card to pay for things is a safer and convenient way to shop, but there are a few things you can do to safeguard your details. Fraudsters will stop at nothing to get your personal information and card data. Their scams can be clever, but not clever enough, if you know how they work and how to avoid them. Here some tips on how you can keep your personal and card information safe and out of the hands of fraudsters.

Using Your Card Securely

  • Always know where your card is at all times
  • Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN)-memorize it
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone
  • Do not choose numbers and letters that can be easily identified when selecting a PIN (e.g. avoid using initials, phone numbers, or birth dates)
  • Ensure you sign your card on the signature panel as soon you receive it
  • Make a record of card account numbers and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards and keep this list in a safe place
  • Store important documents securely and shred all personal and financial information (e.g., bank statements, credit/ATM receipts, credit card offers, credit card bills, etc.) before you throw them away

Retail and ATM

Accepted across the world, more convenient and safer than cash, payment cards have transformed how we shop and bank. Our investment in Chip and PIN technology has had a significant impact on securing face to face transactions and in reducing counterfeit fraud. But fraudsters may try to steal your card information and use it for unauthorized charges. Make sure you make these transactions in ways that reduce your risk of fraud.

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Review receipts before you sign
  • When entering your PIN at the ATM, always make sure to cover the key pad using your free hand
  • Guard your PIN from fraudster “shoulder surfing”
  • Sign up for email/SMS “transaction alerts” from your bank
  • Keep copies of ATM and sales receipts for your records  and regularly monitor your accounts for any unusual card activity
  • When in a hotel or a restaurant for example, never lose eye contact with your card. New generations of wireless POS can be used right at your table in front of you


From spyware to dodgy merchants, the threat of online fraud is real, but you are the best line of defense. The key to combating online fraud is knowing what threats exist and taking easy steps to beat them.

  • Activate Verified by Visa for added security
  • Keep your software and virus protection up to date on your computer and devices
  • Create strong passwords
  • Ignore emails from senders you don’t know
  • Download files only from sites you know
  • Sign up for email/SMS “transaction alerts” from your bank to keep track of your purchases


Mobile technology is everywhere. It is changing how we communicate, how we do business, and how we access our personal and professional lives. But we need to remind ourselves to stay safe when using our mobiles.

  • Protect the devices you use both physically and with passwords/PIN codes
  • Sensitive account information should never be stored on your mobile device
  • Be aware of your surroundings—don’t loudly read your details in a public environment


Email phishing scams try to trick you into revealing credit card numbers, PIN, bank account passwords or other private information. Most phishing starts as an email that links to a fake Internet site that looks like the real thing with familiar logos and graphics, but it is not. When you enter personal information on such sites, it gets sent to fraudsters.

  • Consider all email requests for personal information to be suspicious
  • Visa never calls or writes cardholders for personal account information
  • Do not respond to such emails or enter information on questionable websites
  • Check the legitimacy of the enquiry by contacting the number on the back of your card
  • Report suspicious emails claiming to be from Visa to

Using your card whilst abroad

  • Avoid leaving cards unattended, in a hotel room, public areas, or in a locked or unlocked vehicle
  • Take advantage of the safe or security box provided by the hotel for your valuables
  • Save all of your receipts for proof of purchase. And when you get home, carefully check them against your monthly statements

And, in case your card is lost or stolen

Immediately contact your bank if your card gets lost, stolen, retained by an ATM, or you suspect that someone might have obtained your PIN.

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