Off line anti-fraud tips

In today’s electronic world there are things you need to know

It would seem obvious, but when at a restaurant make sure that the card is processed in front of you. When using a portable terminal ensure that once you put your card in the hands of that waitron, you watch their very move. A scam is done where by the waiters fake you out by getting you to put your pin in twice. They then cash out the extra and you pay for two meals instead of one. The the rule is simple. Pay Attention, no matter how pretty the person opposite you is.

The same is true on the web, when making a purchase online take care to look for the LOCK image in the address bar and on the bottom of the browser.

lock for safe surfing

locked = safe

The Address should also have “HTTPS”  before the address, that old saying “Caveat emptor” which is Latin for ‘let the buyer beware’, should always come to mind when it sounds too good to be true!  Under South African, British and Visa and Master card contracts you the buyer are protected under the law and in the contract in that the card company and the merchant are jointly and severally liable if there is a problem.

The reason for this is simple, without protecting the genuine online purchaser the Banks and card providers would still be small fry. Once the consumer protection act in the Uk was passed and enacted in 1998 the online trade went from £500K or thereabouts to $55BILLION on 2009.  Not to shabby eh?  And the amount of card fraud was  £574million.

So buy online safely in the knowledge that South African law protects you in three pieces of legislation, the fraud act, the ECA act 20004 and the new consumer protection act of 2010.  If you did not spend the money and someone fraudulently took your money you have the same protections and rights you always had plus one more and that new piece of legislation brings in a lot of what the banks sign when they sign with the card provider, Master Card and Visa.

But to save yourself the hassle, check that the lock is closed first and that it is not an image on the page itself.

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