You need to have your number

CHIP and PIN becomes compulsory from today meaning consumers will no longer be able to sign for purchases in stores.Shoppers will now have to enter their four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) whenever they make purchases with credit or debit cards.

CHIP and PIN becomes compulsory from today meaning consumers will no longer be able to sign for purchases in stores.

Shoppers will now have to enter their four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) whenever they make purchases with credit or debit cards.

The scheme has already made retail point of sale card transactions more secure but police are advising members of the public to be careful with their four-digit PIN number.

Paul Rawlings, Fraud Officer with the cheque and credit card fraud department at Suffolk police, said:

“Members of the public must not become complacent and should take precautions to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of card fraud.

“There are some very simple tips that can be taken such as memorising your PIN and shredding the notification.

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“Never write down or record your PIN and don't allow anyone else to use your card, PIN or other security information - you would be surprised how many people don't follow this advice.”

Using Chip and PIN is already part of everyday life for most people in the UK and national figures suggest that card fraud has already been reduced with a £36 million cut in crime in the first half of 2005 compared with the same period the previous year.

But police are keen to remind people to keep their PIN secure in order to deter would-be thieves.

Chip and PIN - Police advice

N You can change the PIN to something you find easier to remember. This can be done at your bank or at an ATM.

N Don't use numbers easily associated with you such as your date of birth.

N Avoid obvious sequences such as 1234 or 9876, random combinations are best.

NIf you are having trouble remembering the number try and learn the pattern you need to trace on the keypad with your fingers.

N Never write down or record your PIN or other security information.

N Always shield the keypad with your free hand when entering your PIN, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder and don't let yourself be distracte.

N Don't disclose your PIN to anyone and never give it out over the phone or internet - remember your Bank or the police will never ask you to disclose your PIN.

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