How the Pin Helps Reduce Credit Card Fraud

By: Matthew Lloyd

The newly introduced Chip and Pin scheme has been incorporated in almost all shops, shopping centres, restaurants and websites. The main intent of introducing such a system is to prevent credit card owners from signing for their purchases with the hope that it might, to a large extent, curb credit card fraud.

For an initial period of time, card owners could persuade shops to accept their signatures by pleading that they have forgotten their Pin and shop keepers could bypass the Pin requirement as requested. For some time now, this has become largely impossible and now you can no longer sign for purchases, making fraud that much more difficult. With this new system, even though your card might get stolen and even though your card details can be leaked, it cannot be used unscrupulously without your credit card Pin.

How the Chip and Pin System Works
The Chip and Pin is given to you by your bank - if you haven't yet received it, you should request it immediately. The bank sends you a default Pin number which you can change if you wish, to do this you will need to visit the nearest ATM, and select a number you are likely to remember.

Selecting a Secure Pin Number
Avoid using numbers which can be derived from your card or your records, for example, avoid selecting obvious choices such as your birth date or part of your phone number as your Pin. Additionally you should avoid too many repetitive numbers; if you're stuck for suggestions you could try following these tips to select a secure Pin number:

  • Shift all numbers by one. If your preferred Pin number is your birth date - 020470 then your new , more secure Pin number could read 131581 or 010369

  • Work out a pattern on the keyboard of your ATM

  • Reverse your favourite digits, read them from right to left, or add a sum of 44 or 77 or whatever to make your Pin number more difficult to guess


Once you have selected and changed your Pin, remember to keep it secret as it's the only security you have against fraud. If you have several cards, you could juggle the numbers between them for extra security. After all, how many Pins can you remember? If you have trouble recalling the numbers, either put them in a password protected file on your PC or make a note of it in your mobile phone. Then, of course, keep praying your wallet and cellular phone are not stolen together by the same thief.

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