Becoming a victim of credit card fraud can be a devastating event to experience. It can not only put a person in debt but it can ruin their credit score as well, hurting future chances for securing lines of credit or other loans. A number of steps can be taken to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud:
- Take extra caution if you decide to shop online. Most sites that accept credit cards are considered ‘secure websites’, which means that when you enter your personal information and credit card number into the site, the data will be encrypted. You will know a site is secure if there is a small padlock on the bottom of the screen. If you decide to make a purchase, make sure the company you are buying something from is reputable and has done a lot of business with other consumers, successfully. If you do end up completing a purchase, never confirm your credit card information through an email. A reputable company would never ask that of you, and it’s an indication that the site could be a scam.
- Never store your pin number or password on or near the credit card. If you know you will have trouble remembering the information, make sure it is kept completely separate from the card.
- Make sure you keep a complete list of all the credit cards you own, the pin or password on them, and the phone number for the customer service line. If you notice your card is misplaced or stolen, you can reference this list to immediately call and alert the credit card company.
- When you sign a credit card receipt, make sure the entire number is not on the receipt before handing it back to the employee. You should also make sure you put a line through any blank lines that remain. This prevents someone from coming along and adding to the overall total at a later point in time.
- Do not give out your entire credit card number over the phone unless you absolutely know whom you’re talking to. Your credit card company doesn’t often ask for the entire number, and it should have other ways of confirming your identity when you call. If you are calling away from home, you also don’t want someone to overhear you giving the information.
- Shred all of your credit card bills and statements before throwing them into the trash. If you simply tear a bill into half, it can easily be pieced back together for someone to read.
- Make sure you keep your information updated with your credit card company. If they suspect any suspicious activity with your card they will need your current phone number. If you move, you need to update your address with them and temporarily have your mail forwarded at your local post office.
- Luckily, most credit card companies keep a close eye on the activity that takes place with an individual’s credit card. If something is purchased out of town or a series of suspicious transactions take place, most companies will call the owner of the card to confirm that they did indeed make that purchase.