Credit card fraud is becoming so incredibly prevalent these days. It can seem overwhelming trying to prevent it with all the different ways it can happen. While you can’t prevent every case, you can certainly be prepared and vigilant against abuses, and put some challenges in the way for potential criminals to profit from your private information.
All it takes is a few minor practices and safeguards incorporated into your daily life can go a long way toward keeping your financial information safe from fraudsters. Here is a list of things you can do to help protect against credit card fraud:
1. Do Not Give Out Your Information
This one might seem obvious, but many people will still lose their privacy by simply giving out their credit card details to people who sound convincing on the phone. Social engineering is as old as fraud itself, so do not give out your details to anyone unless you called them specifically to make a purchase.
2. Don’t Keep All Your Eggs In One Basket
Do not keep every credit card you own in the same purse or wallet. Make sure you have one or two that you carry with you, and one or two that you leave at home or otherwise carry separately. This can reduce losses in the event of a theft of the wallet or purse. If you will only need one card, bring only that one with you.
3. Keep Your Cards In Your Sight
When you hand your card to a retail or dining establishment associate, you are trusting them to handle your card properly. Nevertheless, make sure you keep your eye on the card the entire time it is out of your possession. Criminals can swipe and scan a card in a fraction of a second.
4. Only Sign Your Cards’ Accurate Receipts
Make sure your total is correct and shown on the receipt. It may sound silly, but don’t sign a blank receipt, and make sure that any unused blank lines above the grand total are crossed out or otherwise made unusable by anyone who may get possession of it.
5. Monitor Your Accounts For Changes In Behavior
Be sure to keep an eye on your account balances, bills, and statements. Even small changes can signal that your card is compromised. Many times a criminal will try to charge only a dollar to a stolen card to see if it is noticed, and if it goes unnoticed they will then begin making larger and more numerous charges until the account is empty.
6. If You See Something Say Something
Time is of the essence once you find out you have been the victim of credit card fraud. You will need to advise the card issuer as soon as possible, many of them have a 24/7 stolen card hotline that will let you report your card as compromised, anytime anywhere. When you report fraudulent charges, the law absolves you of any further liability for subsequent unauthorized credit charges.