Card Safety Tips for Prepaid and Credit Card Customers

Cards are now the preferred methods of payment for goods and services for many individuals. This is primarily due to its local, international and online reach and by extension, its unparalleled convenience. As with all banking services, you, in partnership with your Bank, play the biggest role in ensuring that you enjoy the safest card experience possible. Help us protect you by following some simple guidelines as you go about your everyday life, with your First Citizens debit, prepaid or credit cards:

  1. Travel and Lost/ Stolen Cards
  2. Vigilance and Unfamiliar Card Transactions
  3. Updating of Contact Information
  4. Safeguarding Your PIN
  5. Using Your Card: At a Store, At the ATM, On the Internet and via the Telephone
  6. General Safety Tips

Travel and Lost/ Stolen Cards:
  • To facilitate a smooth experience abroad, advise the Authorizations Unit of all travel details, prior to departure by calling 625-2893 Ext 2372/73/74 or via email at Our specially trained Authorizations Unit monitors card activity for suspicious transactions on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.
  • If your card has been lost or stolen locally, report it immediately to 62-FIRST (623-4778) and the police.
  • If your card has been lost or stolen internationally, immediately call:

1-800-847-2911 for VISA cards and
1-800-307-7309 for MasterCard cards

  • Keep the above 24 hour emergency numbers with you at ALL times e.g. on your mobile phone or written down safely in the event that your wallet is lost.
Vigilance and Unfamiliar Card Transactions:
  • If you think that your card has been compromised immediately notify the Credit Card Centre and arrange for the receipt of a new card.
  • Develop daily vigilance about your card transactions – use the First Citizens Online Banking, Telebanking and Mobile Banking Services to monitor your posted transactions on a daily basis.
  • Verify purchases against your receipts, specifically looking for unfamiliar transactions. Shred receipts when done.
  • Unfamiliar transactions must be reported to the Bank within required timelines, after which time the Bank will not be obliged to consider any such query. Credit card transactions are to be reported within 21 calendar days after the end of the relevant statement cycle. Prepaid card transactions are to be reported within 30 calendar days of the date of the transaction/s in question.
  • Always review your transactions and credit card statement, especially after overseas travel.
  • All credit card statements and other financial documents should be stored securely. Shred when necessary.
  • If you do not receive your credit card statement via mail please contact the Credit Card Centre to obtain a copy.
Updating of Contact Information:
  • Always update First Citizens with your current contact information: cell, home and work numbers, email address and mailing address.
  • Always update First Citizens if you change your address.
Safeguarding Your PIN:
  • NEVER disclose your PIN to anyone; either at an ATM, online or over the telephone, even if the caller claims to be from your Bank. The Bank will not ask for your PIN.
  • Do not write down your PIN and never keep it in your wallet with your card, memorize it.
  • Avoid using obvious PIN numbers e.g. date of birth.

Using Your Card:

At a Store:
  • Do not volunteer any personal information when you use your card, other than your ID document.
  • Don’t let anyone swipe your card twice without giving you a “transaction cancelled” receipt.
  • Do not ever sign a blank transaction receipt.
  • Watch the staff for any suspicious behavior.
  • Ensure that your credit card is always within your sight.
  • Make sure you retrieve your card and your receipt before you leave the store.
  • Keep all your receipts.
At the ATM:
  • NEVER disclose your PIN to anyone.
  • Be discreet when withdrawing cash.
  • Use a well lit ATM in an exposed area.
  • Retrieve your card when you have completed your transaction.
  • Be vigilant to ensure that no one records your PIN and that the machine itself was not tampered with.
  • If your card is stuck at an ATM, immediately call 62-FIRST (623-4778) to have a block placed on your card.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering help at the ATM, even if he/she appears to be a bank or bank security officer. Criminals can obtain your PIN, then retrieve your jammed card and withdraw funds.
On the Internet:
  • It is recommended that smaller limit cards be used when shopping online. Contact the Credit Card Centre to discuss convenient options available to you.
  • Shop only at secure websites – look for the yellow padlock icon at the bottom of the screen and for the “s” in the address bar i.e. “https” indicating that the site is secure.
  • Shop only at reputable sites; investigate the company before purchasing online if unsure.
  • Ensure your computer has up to date anti virus and firewall protection.
  • Ensure that your browser supports SSL (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Chrome).
  • Check the privacy policy of the website and ensure that they do not store your credit or prepaid card details.
  • Do not use public computers to do online shopping.
  • Do not send your credit or prepaid card number in an email. Emails are broadcast over the Internet in plain text and can be intercepted by anyone.
  • Deepen your online shopping comfort level by using a safe internet payment system such as PayPal.
  • Be suspicious if you receive an email that warns you that a service will be discontinued or an account closed, unless information is confirmed. Do not click on the link in the email; instead contact the company by phone or by entering the company’s known website address in the Internet browser’s address bar to reach their website.
  • Beware of phishing – never purchase products or services by responding to an email. This generally results in your card number being compromised.
  • The use of First Citizens Credit Cards for Online Gambling transactions is strictly prohibited. As such, these transactions would be declined.
  • The use of First Citizens Credit Cards to conduct face to face or non face to face transactions at the countries listed below is strictly prohibited. As such, these transactions would be declined. 
1. Albania10. Belarus19. Bosnia and Herzegovina
2. Burundi11. Central African Republic20. Cuba
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo12. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia21. Iran
4. Iraq13. Kosovo22. Lebanon
5. Libya14. Mali23. Montenegro
6. Nicaragua15. North Korea24. Russia 
7. Serbia16. Somalia25. South Sudan 
8. Sudan and Darfur17. Syria26. Ukraine 
9. Venezuela18. Yemen27. Zimbabwe
Via the Telephone:
  • If you feel pressured by a telemarketing salesperson be suspicious. Only conduct telephone transactions if you have called the company yourself and always ask the seller to confirm he amount you will be charged. Make a note of this at the time of the sale.
  • Never buy from cold callers. Always do a background check of the company before you do any credit card transactions over the phone.
  • Always get a printable copy or email receipt from the company, then check all receipts off against your bank and card statements.
General Safety Tips:
  • Sign your card as soon as you receive it.
  • For security reasons never keep your chequebook and credit cards together .
  • Make a note of future expiry date. Cut up any old or expired cards.

Chat Here!