With Christmas and the New Year coming up, people are bracing themselves for all the expenses the holidays usually involve. There are gifts to buy, parties to host and many other activities and events that are often scheduled during the holiday season.
For sure, many credit card holders anticipate maxing out their cards to pay for all the extra expense. Some, no doubt, will feel their credit limits are not enough to cover all the expected and unexpected expenses.
So here’s a timely warning: Just because you badly need to increase your credit limit before the holidays doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Scam artists are quick to take advantage of anticipated needs.
Newspapers recently reported the arrest of a person who managed to get a businessman’s credit card, and used it to make a cash advance. The scam artist pretended to be an employee of Citibank Philippines and asked the victim for his credit card so his request for an increase in his credit limit could be processed.
Fortunately, the impostor was arrested after making the cash advance using the businessman’s credit card. The police found in his possession several other cards with different names.
Aneth Ng-Lim, Citibank country corporate affairs officer, wants to remind credit card holders that the bank “will never ask clients to surrender their credit cards. In the event they close their accounts, we actually ask clients to destroy their cards by cutting across the magnetic strip.”
In fact, even if you are getting a new card, after the old one has expired or has to be replaced for whatever reason, Citi and other banks, for that matter, will not ask for the old one to be returned. They will simply deliver the new card and ask you to destroy the old one.
Lim adds the bank will also not ask for passwords or personal identification numbers. She suggests, “When in doubt, call the 24-hour CitiPhone to verify offers.” Or visit a branch, if there is one near you.
Lim says to keep in mind that when something seems too good to be true, it often is.
Shoppers may find a new application for smart phones quite rewarding. The Snapcart mobile app gives its users cash back by simply taking a snap of receipts for purchases from groceries, pharmacies and health and beauty stores. Rewards increase as users regularly use the app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store as, at the moment, Snapcart is available only to Android phone users.
Of course, Snapcart benefits primarily its partner brands, as data gathered from receipts provide real-time insights on shopper preferences and behavior.
Hopefully, the information gathered through the receipts will enable brands, as they understand customers better, to effect improvements and changes to make their products more appealing and useful to consumers.
Snapcart co-founder Mayeth Condicion gives the assurance that, even if credit cards are used to make purchases, the personal information will remain confidential and will not be shared with anyone or any group.
Reynarzan Royono, founder and chief executive officer, says, initially, cash rewards are given through bank transfers, but they are exploring other modes of payment.
Condicion says the app has been made “more engaging by introducing in-app games that let users win even more rewards.”
Royono and Condicion say the app will eventually expand and cover all retail establishments.