One scam to be especially leery of is credit card fraud, which also goes hand-in-hand with identity theft. There are many credit card fraud scams to be aware of, and while you can’t always prevent credit card fraud from happening, you can be aware of the signs to watch for to try to prevent becoming a victim with a huge credit card bill.
Credit card fraud can range from disreputable companies taking online orders and then selling your credit card number to other parties who then proceed to wrack up fraudulent charges on your card, to criminals installing false swipe machines on ATMs in order to steal your credit card details. A high-tech thief can hack a computer to obtain credit card information or someone might go through your trash and find a credit card statement.
Unfortunately, there are so many ways that credit card fraud can occur and many of these happen all the time without tipping off the card holder until the card has been used fraudulently and a statement arrives showing the charges. A lost or stolen card may be illegally used until the holder of the card notifies the issuer that the card is missing, which means that the card can potentially be used to make dozens of purchases, wracking up thousands of dollars in charges.
Tips to try to avoid credit card fraud include never lending your credit card to anyone. Make sure you always file receipts and credit card statements in a secure location and shred all confidential documents before throwing them in the trash. Avoid giving your credit card number out over the phone and when using your card at a store or restaurant, try to make sure it does not leave your sight.
It is so important to stay on top of your credit card records so you can report any suspicious activity and alert the issuing bank of any credit card fraud. A helpful tip is to make sure you have copies of your card issuers’ 1-800 numbers on file, so if your card is stolen you don’t have to search for the right number to call. Also make sure you have your card’s account numbers and expiration dates on file in a secure place. If you find yourself a victim of credit card fraud, another helpful tip is to call the three U.S. credit reporting organizations in order to place a fraud alert on your name and your social security number. These organizations are Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union.
With this information, you can do all you can to avoid credit card fraud. But if you do fall victim of this crime one day, you need to be prepared and follow the appropriate steps.