How To Lower Your Risk Of Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud
The only way to completely prevent Credit Card Fraud is not to have any credit cards. (Which is almost impossible in today’s society.) Otherwise, you are vulnerable whenever you use or carry your credit cards.
So how do you prevent credit card scams or Credit Card Fraud?
A little common sense can be a huge help here.
Cards And Other Things In Your Wallet or Purse
You should never carry your Social Security card or pin numbers in your wallet. Holding a spare house key in your wallet or purse is a recipe for disaster.
Keeping a list of passwords for easy access in your wallet or purse sounds like a great idea. The thing is, if someone steals your wallet they will think so, too.
Only put a check in your wallet when you know you’ll be using it or depositing it the same day.
Blank checks or a check someone has given you, have everything someone needs – account number, routing number and signature – to clean out a bank account and possibly commit Credit Card Fraud.
Don’t carry all your cards with you every day. If you are not going to use them, why take them.
They only make your wallet thicker. And if you are a man, and you carry your wallet in your back pocket, it’s uncomfortable when sitting.
Carrying bulky things in your back pockets can cause chronic back problems. (Google it).
Aside from that, there is always the possibility of losing your wallet and all the credit cards in it.
Credit Card Receipts
When you are planning your shopping trip, only take the card or cards with you that you are going to use that day.
As you make your purchases, keep your card with you at all times. If the cashier needs to see your card, don’t take your eyes off it. Watch everything they do with it.
Dishonest cashiers have been known to take a picture of your card and then use its illegality.
Keeping an eye on your cards is especially important in restaurants. Most of the time you can’t see where the waiter or waitress went with your card. So be watchful.
Any receipts you have should be compared to your credit card statement to make sure everything is correct, and then they should be shredded. Thieves have known to go through your trash looking for credit card receipts, bank and credit statements or any other personal information that they can use to set up fake accounts in your name. So shred everything.
Beware here! Telephone scammers are very articulate, well spoken and believable. They will try to talk you into anything, just to get your credit card numbers.
Here are three typical scams.
1. “You Won A Cruise, ” and we need your credit card number to verify your ID.
2. “This Is Your Credit Card Company Calling We Want To Lower Your Interest,” just give us your credit card number.
3. “This Is The IRS Calling,” you owe back taxes, the police are on the way to your house, so you better pay right now!
These sound ridiculous, but people are falling for these scams every day and giving out their credit card numbers to total strangers.
Don’t fall for these or any other telephone scam.
Verify who they are before you give them any personal information. Get the persons phone number, address and company name. Do a search on Google for them; you can even search their phone number. Check with the BBB.
Online Accounts Hacked
A fact of life is your credit card numbers are out there.Your bank has them, the credit card companies have them, stores have them, and the credit reporting companies have them. You think your information is safe with these companies, but it’s not.
The giant retailer Target reported a hack last year, and millions of people lost their personal information. The credit reporting company Equifax said a hack took place, and many millions of more people lost valuable personal information.
There is not much we can do to prevent these situations from happening. We just have to protect our information as best as we can.
What Can You Do
You can’t stop the hacking but, if your information gets hacked there are some things you can do to lessen the impact
One option is to have your credit monitored. This way you will know as soon as there is some unauthorized activity on your credit report. In the past, I would not have recommended a credit monitoring service. I have monitored my credit reports myself for years and could see no reason to pay someone else to do it. But with the constant changes in technology and so many people losing they credit card and personal information, I think it is a good idea.
The company I use is Credit Sesame. They offer Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring and Alerts. You will also get your credit score for free. If your identity is ever gets stolen, they will assist you with credit restoration. All this for free.
If you are interested in this type of service check out Credit Sesame by the link below.
No Hidden Fees. Takes Only 90 Secs. Sign Up 100% Free at Credit Sesame!
Things To Remember
As I mentioned before, a little common sense when using your credit cards can go a long way to keep them safe.
When using your card, know where it is at all times.
Millions of people use their credit cards online every day. If you do, make sure you know and trust the site you are giving your credit card information too. Be sure you only manage online finances over a secure Internet connection never use a public wi-fi or unsecured network in your home. Thieves can tap into unsecured networks and view information transmitted online. You should also password-protect access to your computer. Your passwords should be 10 to 12 characters long and contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, plus numbers and symbols.
Anti-virus and anti-spyware software are a must to help prevent Credit Card Fraud.
Only give personal information to organizations and individuals you know and trust. Be very skeptical of e-mails and websites that solicit personal data, like bank accounts, pins, and Social Security numbers.
Many fake sites look very similar to those of real banks, utilities, etc. If you are unsure why your data is being requested by a particular organization, don’t give it out. Verify with customer service why the information is needed.
If you get a call offering you something for free or someone tells you that you won something, and asks for your credit card number hang up. No legitimate company will ever do that. The best practice here is if you don’t recognize the name don’t answer it.
For example, if someone calls you calming to be the IRS, hang up. The IRS will never every call you asking for money. They conduct all transactions through the mail.
If you protect your credit cards like you protect your cash, you will be much happier at the end of the day and less likely to be a victim of Credit Card Fraud.
If you don’t already belong to a Credit Reporting Service check out Credit Sesame. You can also Get Your Credit Score 100% Free. No Trials. No Credit Card Required.