Cardholder Advice

To help protect yourself from becoming a victim of card fraud, APACS suggests you follow these top tips:

* Guard your card and card details.
* Don't let your card out of your sight when making a transaction.
* Ask the retailer to confirm the amount being debited from your card.
* Carefully discard your receipts from card transactions. Shred all your receipts and documents that contain information relating to your financial affairs.
* Check your receipts against your statements carefully. If you find an unfamiliar transaction contact your bank or building society immediately.
* Never write down your personal identification number (PIN) and never disclose it to anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank, building society or the police.
* When using a cash machine, be wary of anyone who might be trying to watch you enter your PIN and do not allow yourself to be distracted by anyone or anything.
* Don't keep your chequebook with your cards.
* Report lost or stolen cards or suspected fraudulent use of your card account to your bank or building society immediately. The 24-hour emergency number is on your last statement, or call directory enquiries for the number.

Other important tips

* Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive.
* Cut expired cards through the magnetic stripe and/or chip when replacement cards arrive.
* Pay attention to card expiry dates. If your replacement card hasn't arrived call your bank or building society to check the status of the new card.
* Don't leave your cards unattended in a bag, briefcase or jacket pocket in a public place and keep your bag or briefcase on your lap.

If you are a victim of card fraud

* Inform your bank or building society immediately.
* Report the theft or loss to the police immediately. This can be inconvenient and time consuming but it will simplify the process of getting your bank or building society to refund the losses from any unauthorised use of your card.

If someone else uses your card before you tell your bank or building society that it has been lost or stolen, or before you tell them that someone else knows your PIN, the most you will have to pay is £50. In practice the bank or building society will usually refund the full amount lost, but if you are shown to have acted fraudulently or without reasonable care, for example by keeping your PIN written down with your card, you may have to meet all the losses.

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