With the increases in technology, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find ways of preventing credit card fraud. It seems as soon as we come up with one effective method to protect our information, the crooks find a way to get around our safeguards. When you use credit cards you will always have some level of risk, but the good news is that by following some simple strategies you can greatly decrease those risks.
Here are some simple things you can do to prevent fraudulent activity:
1. Make sure you check your credit report at least yearly, and make sure you check all three reports since there can be different information on each one. If you notice something unusual contact the credit bureau immediately.
2. Shred all of your documents, particularly credit card statements and credit card offers you receive in the mail. Also, contact any companies who are sending you card offers in the mail and request that they stop sending them to you.
All it takes is one thief to grab a credit card offer out of your mailbox and activate the card and you can have a very hard time sorting it all out and getting that fraudulent activity off of your credit report.
Also, don’t take your trash out at night. You may find it hard to believe but thieves will actually steal your trash bags and look through them for any type of personal information.
3. Don’t carry a lot of credit cards with you, only carry the ones that you use the most often, or better yet, don’t carry a card with you at all unless you are going to go shopping.
4. Don’t sign your name on your credit card. That really doesn’t offer you any protection since a thief can see how you sign your name and copy it. A better alternative is to sign the back of your card: ‘Request ID’ or something like that, then a cashier has to ask for more identification. It might be a little more time consuming but in the long run this simple step could help save your credit score and your good name.
5. Never give out your credit card number, or any personal information, to anyone on the phone unless you are the one that made the call. There is technology available that allows anyone to program any name or number they want to show up on your caller ID.
Just because your caller ID is showing the name of your local bank, it doesn’t mean it’s your local bank. It could just as easily be a scammer who is using the technology to make their phone number show up as the phone number of your bank. If you’re ever in doubt, play it safe, end the call and call your bank back yourself.
Too many people take fraud too lightly. It seems that just because the bank or credit card company doesn’t hold you responsible for fraudulent debt that people don’t care. Well they should. The bank is not going to pay all those fraudulent charges themselves, even if they don’t charge you for them directly, they are charging you, and all of us, by having increased fees. Preventing credit card fraud is easy to do and will benefit all of us.