Safe ways to pay
A word of advice about safe payment methods.
27 September 2010
There are so many ways to choose to pay – from cheques and eftpos to online payments and transfers. Make sure the money gets to the right person by being a bit more careful about how you pay.
If you are still writing cheques don’t forget that you need to cross them to prevent them from being used fraudulently.
Write either ‘account payee only’ or ‘not transferable’ on the cheque to ensure the money is paid to the person named on the cheque. Writing ‘not negotiable’ just means the cheque cannot be cashed.
Credit and debit cards
When using credit and debit cards in person, keep an eye on your card. Don’t give anyone the chance to copy down your card details. Putting a PIN number on your card makes it more secure.
When using a credit or debit card online make sure the site is secure (the address of a secure site will start with a https, instead of just http). Also make sure the company you are dealing with is trustworthy.
Check your bills for anything unusual. If there is a payment that you haven’t authorised, or you never receive the goods that you paid for, you can ask the credit card company for a charge back. (Talk to your bank about how this works.)
Eftpos is an easy and popular way to pay but you still need to watch out for trouble. Don’t share your PIN with anyone, not matter how convenient it is. It is part of your contract with the bank that you keep it secret. If you share it and it gets misused you might have trouble getting your money back.
Watch out for people looking over your shoulder when you are typing in your PIN. If you see anything suspicious at an ATM then don’t use that machine and report the problem to the bank.
Make sure you check your account and report any unusual activity to your bank.
When you transfer money into someone else’s account you can’t get it back. So make sure you trust the person who you are paying and double check you have the account details right.
Don’t send money overseas unless you know the person you are sending it to. Many scammers will ask you to pay them by money transfer because it is irreversible. Ask overseas sellers if you can pay by another method or refuse to deal with them.