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Security tips for credit cards

There have recently been an increasing number of reports from cardholders who have been the victim of fraud attempts with credit cards. Here are some important tips on how you can protect yourself against the fraudulent use of credit cards.

Swisscard Sicherheitstipps

The following basically applies: Be wary and handle your card data and information carefully.

Tips on how you can best protect yourself against phishing:

  • No bank or financial institution will ask you to click on a link in an email or an SMS or to verify data, accounts or credit cards. Always enter the Internet address (URL) directly in the browser’s address line instead of clicking links.
  • Do not trust emails or SMS that you receive on an unsolicited basis or from unknown senders. Very trustworthy company names are often misused by criminals as fraudulent email addresses or SMS senders, asking you to take urgent action or warning you of dire consequences. If you think you know who the sender is, use a different channel to ask them if they sent the message, without clicking on a link or an attachment.
  • Check the spelling. Phishing mails and SMS are often translated by programs and are full of errors. The form of address is often impersonal.
  • Never allow anybody else to maintain your computer remotely. Fraudsters operating under well-known company names such as Apple or Microsoft claim that they want to remove supposed computer viruses but use remote maintenance programs such as AnyDesk to steal your data and information.
  • Contact our customer service team if you receive an SMS with a code (mTAN) and do not know why you received it.

Important tips on how to protect yourself against online fraud:

  • Serious online shops or websites always transmit all data encrypted. Look for the lock symbol in the Internet browser’s address line.
  • If you are paying online by credit card, you need your credit card number, but never the number of your credit card account. You only need the credit card account number if you are registering for 3-D Secure or storing your credit card in a digital wallet (for example, for Apple Pay or Samsung Pay).
  • Be cautious with bank accounts abroad. Ask the shop owner whether they have a bank account in Switzerland or offer another payment option.
  • Google each online store before you shop there for the first time. Don’t just look at the first three search results, scroll down and look for comments or ratings.
  • Do not enter competitions if you are required to disclose credit card or bank details.
  • Do not give out your credit card or bank account information even if the organizer claims you have won and you will be required to pay shipping, customs, or insurance premiums for your competition prize.
  • Take particular care with advertisements that depict famous people like Roger Federer or DJ BoBo and that tout investments with quick returns, on Facebook for example. Unregulated forex platforms that want to con you are usually behind this.
  • Commercial websites in Switzerland are required to include a legal notice (Impressum). Never trust a website without a legal notice. Consult the warning list published by the Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA or the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance if you are unsure.

Current information on online fraud attempts can be found on the Swiss Confederation’s Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance MELANI website. It is best to report attacks to the police immediately.