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How do you stop credit cards being used illegally?

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I am quite concerned about how easy it is for criminals to get hold of credit card details and use them fraudulently to purchase goods. Does anyone have any know what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of this happening? The reason I ask, is that I was recently contacted by Barclays Bank Fraud Centre, and was asked if I had tried to make a purchase to the value of around £400. When I said I hadn't, they told me that someone had been using my credit card to make phonecalls to the US, and then tried to purchase some alloy wheels in Nottingham, when I was nowhere near the city! It turns out that some staff in a hotel I stayed at had logged my card details, and were either using the card themselves, or had passed the details on to someone else. This is all I know, but in future I will take whatever precautions I can to try and prevent this, 'cos I can tell you now, that it is a right hassle trying to get the money back. I had to give statements to the police, identify the things I didn't authorise, etc, etc, what a nightmare

How do you stop credit cards being used illegally?

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Hi Garland, The banks are all working toward a more secure future, which is why they recently introduced chip + pin technology. The majority of plastic card transactions will eventually be made using chip and PIN, and the system is expected to significantly cut plastic card fraud. Until then, if your card is used or stolen then you are fully protected by the UK Banking Code which is a voluntary system that lays out standards for good banking practice, including limiting liability for cardholders that are victims of fraud. If someone else uses your card before you tell your card issuer it has been lost or stolen or that someone else knows your PIN, the most you will have to pay, in theory, is £50. In practice the bank or building society will usually refund the full amount lost. But if the cardholder were negligent, for example, by keeping their PIN near their card, they would have to meet all the losses. Counterfeit fraud is the biggest and fastest growing type of card fraud. Most cases involve skimming, a process where the genuine data on a card's magnetic stripe is electronically copied onto another, without the legitimate cardholder's knowledge. The highly secure chip cards now being introduced in the UK will in time wipe out skimming. One last point is that you should discard receipts carefully - shredding them if possible

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