Credit Card fraud is a big problem in the United States, but if you are aware of the potential risks, you can better protect yourself.
In this guide we will break down how to protect yourself from credit card fraud and also tell you what the riskiest places are to swipe your credit card.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit/Debit Card fraud is defined as any instance buying any goods or services without the intention of paying for it. There are a variety of different types of fraud including the following:
- Identity Theft: Identity theft occurs when someone used your credit/debit cards
- Fraud Sprees: When someone makes unauthorized purchases on your account
- Identity Assumption: Thief uses stolen information on a long term basis
Riskiest Place to Swipe Credit Cards
- ATM Machines: Be careful using ATM machines as they could have skimmers that can steal your information.
- Gas Stations: When pumping gas, double check for skimmers or cameras that can record your pin number
- Online Shopping: Storing credit card information on your computer can be stolen by malware on your device, a middle person who intercepts the transmission or a data breach of the retailer you buy from.
- Mobile Vendors: Festivals, fairs, concerts and other events, attendees sometimes don’t know whether a vendor is legit or uses a card skimmer.
How to Prevent Credit/Debit Card Fraud
There are a variety of ways to prevent credit/debit card fraud:
- Never give account information over the phone unless you a sure of the company you are dealing with
- Make sure to get your card back after each transaction
- Do not leave a blank space on the line above total so it is not filled in without your consent
- Save your receipts and compare them with your bills
- Look for credit card skimmers
- Insert your card if you can avoid swiping
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is when someone has your card number, driver’s license information, or social security number. By using this information, they are able to steal your identity and open cards or bank accounts. However, some credit card companies such as MasterCard have identity theft protection programs that you can enroll in.
Once you are signed up for identity theft protection, you will get notified of any alerts if your credit card number, SSN, or any of your driver license information appear on fraud related websites.
In conclusion, the best way to protect credit card fraud is to always be proactive in protecting your pin and card number. Always monitor your account of any fraudulent activities and also be aware using your credit card in high volume places.
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