Tips on How to Avoid Credit Fraud

By ccflyers on August 14, 2007

Credit card fraud costs credit card holders and credit card companies billions of dollars each year, if you are a credit card holder and want to protect yourself from credit card fraud, this article is designed to help you do exactly that.  The first thing you need to understand is, that once you report a credit card stolen you are no longer responsible for any unauthorized charges, also under federal law your maximum liability is restricted to $50. The first thing you need to do when you receive your credit card is to write down the card number and keep it somewhere safe. In the eventuality of your card being stolen you can easily report it stolen by calling the customer service number and giving them the stolen card’s number.

Another act of vital importance is signing your credit card the moment you receive it, many people still compare the credit card signature against that on the receipt.  Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it, a common form of credit card fraud is swiping the card without the card owner knowing it.  To protect your credit cards from theft it is a good idea to carry your credit cards separately, so that even if your wallet or handbag is stolen you have your credit cards with you.

Never reveal your credit card details over the phone or by replying to an email, most credit card companies make it absolutely clear that they will never ask you for your card details on the phone or by email.  Also, always shop with a website that is secure, almost all credit card sites today clearly mention that they are using a secure payment system. Make sure you shop only with sites that are secure so that all your credit card information is transmitted securely. 

Never write your PIN number on the credit card, if the card is stolen not only can the person swipe the card, he can also get access to cash by using the card in an ATM machine. Similarly never sign a blank credit card receipt, make sure that you strike out blank areas so that no additional charges can be added later on.

Only carry credit cards you use regularly, most people have more than one credit card to their name, but it’s prudent to carry only credit cards you use frequently as it will reduce your damages if your wallet of purse is stolen. Also make sure that the cards you do not use are tucked away in a safe place, and not left lying around where someone like a cleaner can get a hold of them. It is not uncommon for people to not know about stolen cards till they receive their monthly statement.

Make sure you scrutinize every credit card statement carefully, and dispute any charges that are unauthorized. In fact if the frequency of unauthorized charges is increasing, chances are that someone else has probably committed identity theft and is misusing the card. 

Make sure you have a list of all your credit card numbers, with their expiry date and customer services numbers in a safe place. If any card is stolen the list can help you report the card as early as possible. Make sure you shred (and not throw away) all your old credit card receipts and statements, if you want to keep the statements, make sure they are stored in a safe place. 

Also if you suddenly stop receiving your credit card statement, then report this to the credit card company at the earliest, don’t assume that it’s a postal problem.  Also if you are shifting to a new address, make sure that you notify the credit card company about the change of address.

Remember the biggest thing you need to fight credit card fraud is common sense. Keep your eyes and ears open, and protect your credit card and credit card details at all times. Credit card fraud is rampant throughout the US and your biggest defence is awareness, make sure you are aware of the new ways in which credit card fraud is taking place, by knowing how credit card fraud works you can protect yourself from credit card fraud.

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