Identity theft and credit card frauds are more prevalent than ever. Despite recent developments in credit safety protocols, namely chip cards, temporary card verification value numbers (CVV), and contactless payments (which encrypt information for each transaction), consumers must continue to exercise due diligence in protecting their data.

According to Recent Reports, in 2021, the Federal Trade Commission reported approximately 4.8 million instances of credit card fraud and Identity theft. In addition, “card not present” fraud, in which transactions are conducted when the consumer isn’t physically present, is rising. A June 2021 Merchant Fraud Journal article assessed that chargebacks caused due to card, not present fraud incurs losses of roughly $40 billion per year to businesses.
Whether you use your credit cards to buy groceries, items online, or services, there are ways you can safeguard your information.
Contactless card payments also called tap-and-go payments, enable consumers to make payments for goods and services in either of two ways:
Using a credit card that’s been added to the digital wallet of their smartphone or a physical credit or debit card that’s equipped with (RFID) or radio-frequency identification technology. If you have a card bearing a symbol that looks like a Wi-Fi logo tipped on its side, your card can make tap-and-go payments. This allows a person to complete the transaction process simply by holding his card or Phone next to the credit card terminal without physically entering a personal identification number (PIN).
Not surprisingly, contactless card payments have witnessed growth since the onset of the pandemic.
In a Forbes, May 2020 issue published, an article by Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga said that Mastercard witnessed a 40% growth in the use of contactless payments in the first quarter of that year. The shift methodology of payment was driven by consumers seeking a quick way to get in and out of stores without the physical exchange of cash, touching terminals, or anything else.
Contactless payments are still a relatively new concept. Many retailers, including mom-and-pop storefronts and national retail chains, do not possess the technology to accept them. Consumers also doubt whether the technology is safe and secure. Below are just a few of the perils and virtues of tap-and-go payments.

Below mentioned are a few steps to can take to keep your information safe and ensure smooth migration to contactless payment methods:
Adopt RFID–a blocking wallet. RFID-blocking wallets produce an electromagnetic coop around your debit and credit cards. This safeguards users from digital pickpocketing, a process by which credit card data is read remotely using a wireless device.

Regular credit card and bank statement check-ups. Monitor statements for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions. Thieves don’t always prefer stolen cards to make big purchases. In some cases, they may make many small purchases with time.

Transaction alerts for your cards. This will send alerts via text or email each time a transaction is made from the card.

Ensure Phone is password protected: Setting passwords for devices is essential to protect financial information stored.
Credit card frauds are a common occurrence. With the ever-increasing trend of paying with plastic, there is a dire need to exercise more diligence when using any contactless method. If the data is stolen or any fraudulent or unauthorized activity is detected. It is advisable to block the cards and bank or authorities for immediate assistance.

Author – Shrey Madaan, Research Associate – Cyber Peace Foundation

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