How to Prevent Credit Card and Identity Theft

By Leni Parrish on March 15, 2010

Every adult in America is most likely carrying a credit card in the wallet. In fact more than 70 million people are using the plastic for transactions. That is too big a number to also say that these people are prone to be victimized by fraud and identity theft as well. Truth be told, scammers are just right there waiting for the next one to con.

If you worry about your credit card and your identity, then you might find these tips handy to keep you protected:

•    Never carry all your cards when you leave the house. Carry only the ones you need and keep the rest in a safe place at home. This way, you are able to track all of your cards.
•    Always ask for your receipt and double check for discrepancies right away, whether the amount charged is correct. Never leave the store until the wrong charges are reversed.
•    Be wary of people asking for pertinent information over the phone especially if you were not the one who made the call. Give information only to reputable and legitimate companies. Spam calls are apparent these days.
•    Open and go over your credit card statements as soon as you receive them. Report any suspicious activities right away and have the companies tag them as fraudulent.
•    Before tossing in the trash, shred your bank and card statements or expired cards so thieves will not get hold of your information.
•    Choose to which ones you will share your personal information in online social networks like Facebook. Put in private your details if you must, especially your date of birth because that can lead to fraudsters to your SSN.
•    Never write down your PIN and place anywhere near your card. Some people commit the mistake of writing the PIN on the back of the card itself. Also avoid assigning PINs that are easily connected to you like your home phone number or birthday.
•    Shred credit card applications that you received in the mail and do not intend to use because con artists just might use them under your name.
•    Even if you really trust a person, never lend your plastic to anyone.
•    When you plan to move, notify your bank even before you transfer to another house or location.
•    If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, know that you have your rights as a US citizen. The law protects you as a consumer against loss of card and makes you free from obligations if your account was used wrongfully.

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