Credit card fraud is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s age. Thieves are becoming smarter and more innovative with how they steal our information, even with the aid of EMV chips and credit card companies improving their security measures. Credit cards are striving for new advances to help us tackle these issues, but in the meantime, here are 5 simple steps that everyone can take as a precaution to help eliminate their chances of credit card fraud.
Credit Card Safety: The placement of where you keep your credit cards is one of the simplest but most important matters. You should be keeping your credit card in a safe compartment on your body--whether that’s a purse, wallet, or satchel--as close to you as possible, making it more difficult for thieves to snatch it away. In places with large crowds of people, a small purse is the safest idea, because the area a thief would have to get to is smaller and more compact, but still attached to you. Try not to carry all your credit cards at once, and be mindful to only carry what you need in the moment. Putting your credit card away immediately after use is key as well, because you have a smaller window to lose it in. Some choose to sign the back of their cards with “CHECK ID”, so that if your card falls into the hands of a thief, their attempt to use it would fail when a cashier would verify the name on the card against their ID.
Shred: Destroy, destroy, destroy. Make sure any credit card information that is written or available on any piece of paper is shredded. It’s easy to just throw away old billing statements without paying it any mind, so make sure that they are torn up or shredded to guarantee thieves can’t get ahold of your statements, or put large shredded pieces back together.
Checking Credit Card Receipts: Everyone has busy lives, which can mean you rush through a transaction, but it’s crucial that you take the time to check over the receipt before you sign and give it back. If your receipt has blank spaces available, be sure to put a 0 or scribble a line through it, to secure that no numbers can be added or written to change dollar amounts.
Withhold Information Unless Necessary: Avoid providing your credit card information if you feel like it’s unnecessary. There are many scams out there that trick people into giving away their credit card information by claiming it’s needed. Think about the reasoning before you hand any of this information over. The CVV number located on the back of your card should only be given out to customer service representatives that you called first. A sure fire sign of credit card scamming is asking for a credit card number over the phone or online when unsolicited, claiming you owe a payment.
Make Sure You’re On the Right Page- Website or email scammers can be sneaky when it comes to trying to obtain your information. They’ll try to trick you into thinking you’re on a legitimate page, when in reality you’re entering your information into the scammer’s page. Although they may look real, make sure you do not click on any links that lead you to a different website, and do not enter a payment method without verifying the site you’re on. Hackers can snatch your information with the click of a button.
Stay tuned for part two in order to protect yourself against credit card fraud!