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You need to stay safe whenever you use you card and the details below explain the types of things you need to look out for, along with ways in which you can protect yourself.

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Alert Capital One if you think you've been tricked by a phishing email that looks like it is from Capital One. Simply forward the email to


You never know when someone could try to steal your credit card information. It can even happen during genuine transactions, known as skimming because the data on the magnetic strip of your card is taken using a skimming device.

Criminals also target cash machines (also known as ATMs) in different ways. They may try to defraud you by skimming or by 'shoulder surfing', where they watch you enter your PIN with the intention of stealing your card afterwards. They may also set up a hidden camera to obtain your PIN.

Another technique is the 'card trap', where the cash machine looks like its swallowed your card, and the fraudster retrieves it later.

Here's how you can avoid being a victim of skimming:

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  • Do keep your card in sight at all times during a transaction
  • Do beware of anyone who tries to distract you when you're using a cash machine
  • Do contact your card issuer immediately if your card is swallowed by a cash machine
  • Do guard your PIN with your hand when you enter it into the machine

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  • Don't use a cash machine if someone suspicious is loitering nearby
  • Don't use a cash machine if it looks like its been damaged or tampered with


When you log in to any of your online accounts, don't enter any personal details if the site asks you for more information than usual. This could be an attempt at fraud, and you should alert your bank or card issuer straight away.



Here's how to create a password that fraudsters are unlikely to guess or figure out:

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  • Do use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
  • Do use different passwords for your different internet accounts and services (including email accounts and social networking sites)

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  • Don't use details that are easy to guess, or publically displayed on sites such as Facebook
  • Don't use anything obvious, like your date of birth
  • Don't disclose your full passwords to anyone, especially when its unexpected or prompted by an email or unsolicited phone call


For most people, internet shopping is safe, and millions buy online everyday. But you still need to take steps to avoid putting your debit or credit card details at risk.

For added protection when shopping online, register for MasterCard® SecureCode™ and Verified by Visa.

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  • Do use your credit card rather than your debit card. If your debit accounts are attacked, you are in a much more difficult financial situation as the money has already left your bank account
  • Do check that your anti-virus software and firewall are running before you access the internet
  • Do check you have a secure connection before you enter any personal details. You can tell a secure site by the URL, which begins https://, rather than just http://. The 's' is for 'secure'. You should also see a small padlock symbol in your browser.

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  • Don't ever send payment details or your PIN by email


Remember these tips when you're using the internet in public places, such as coffee houses, hotels and restaurants:

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  • Don't shop using public networks or computers, as you have no way of knowing if the computer is infected with malware or whether the network is secure. It's safer to shop online from home
  • Don't leave your browser open or logged in to an account. When you leave a public computer, log off and shut down. If you leave yourself signed in, or save your log-in details, your account is open to the next person who uses the computer


Verified by Visa and MasterCard® SecureCodeTM offer additional security when shopping online. They're free and give the same security online as in a shop. Set up a password, then use it with your usual credit card details to authorise transactions at participating online retailers.

Watch our Credit Made Clearer video to learn more about these services.

Watch our video on MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa

Register for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. These services can only be registered to the primary cardholder. Additional cardholders must use the same password.

You can also find more helpful tips and advice on how to shop safer online at Be Card Smart.