Credit card fraud is a threat that everyone needs to be aware of and concerned about. It is shocking how easy it is for credit card scams to put your finances at risk. If you are the victim, you could lose significant amounts of money, compromise your credit score, and spend a lot of time and energy trying to get the situation resolved.
Credit card fraud is a crime that is both common and on the rise. Now that a significant amount of transactions are handled by swiping a card or entering a pin, there are more opportunities than ever for scammers to steal your personal information. The best form of protection is caution and vigilance, so practice these eight ways to avoid credit card fraud at all times.
Protect Your Physical Cards
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Credit card scams are easy to pull off if a thief has possession of your actual card. Always keep your cards in a secure place on your person where they cannot be easily snatched. When you do use your card, place it back in your wallet or purse immediately. It is possible for thieves to takes pictures of the information printed on the card and access your accounts. If you ever lose your card, cancel it immediately.
Shred Your Documents
You may be surprised how willing thieves are to dig through garbage to find documents with credit card information printed on them. Shredding any and every document that displays your details may seem like a labor-intensive form of fraud protection, but it’s a lot better than having to contend with thieves. The same applies for cards that have been canceled or expired.
Never Sign a Blank Receipt
We are all guilty of signing a credit card receipt without carefully examining it first. But one of the most common forms of credit card fraud is for someone to issue you a blank receipt, have you sign it, and then fill in an outrageous figure later on. Always look over the details, and if a total has not been entered, write $0.
Be Weary of Giving Out Credit Card Details
Thieves will go to any length to trick you into thinking they are legitimate parties. You may get a call from someone claiming to be from your credit card company or bank and asking you to provide your account number or other sensitive information. These are always scams, and you should hang up immediately. Only give out the information when you initiate a call to an official customer service representative.
Be Extra Cautious Online
The same tactics that thieves try over the phone are even easier to pull off in online environments. You may get an email or another contact from your credit card company that appears to be legitimate in every way. In fact, it is a clever forgery designed to steal your information. Only enter your credit card information when you initiate a transaction, and only on secure sites. Look for https:// at the beginning of a web address to determine if it is a secure site.
Examine Your Billing Statements
If you are the victim of credit card fraud, you may not know it for weeks, months, or even years. Smart scammers know that they can steal more in total if they extract small amounts of money over time rather than a huge sum all at once. The best form of credit card fraud detection is to carefully review your statements each month. If a charge looks unfamiliar, unauthorized, or raises any red flags, get in touch with your credit card company immediately.
Only Use Strong Passwords
If you enjoy online shopping or the convenience of online bill pay, it is likely that your credit card information is stored somewhere online. All it would take for someone to access that information is your login information, which is why a strong password is essential. Only rely on passwords that combine letters, numbers, and characters, and use a different password for every site you frequent.
Watch Out for Card Skimmers
One of the most clever credit card scams to appear in recent years is the use of skimmers. These are tiny, almost invisible devices placed around the card slot of an ATM, gas pump, or payment terminal. They can log your personal information without giving any indication that you have been compromised. Examine any card slot before entering your card, and if anything looks suspicious, do not use it.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The Law Office of John L. Calcagni is dedicating to providing everyone with the defense they need. If you have been accused of credit card fraud or any other form of fraud, immediately contact our office by calling (508) 213-9113.