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There are ways that fraudsters use to obtain and use your credit card information which can make you may feel defenseless. But there are some guidelines you can follow to minimize the chances of falling a victim of credit card fraud.
1. Protect Your Privacy
Keeping your credit card details as private as possible will go a long way in reducing the chance of you falling victim of scammers. Do not share your credit card information over the phone or email. You will hardly find a credit card company asking for your card details through email. So, any email asking for your credit card details should be a clear sign of a fraudster trying to trick you. Shred documents containing credit card details before you dispose of them.
If your card is RFID-equipped, consider getting an RFID-blocking wallet so your card is protected while it’s in your pocket. By blocking RFID signals, the wallet prevents any device from reading the information on your card until you take it out to use it. Use passwords on every account accessed by a computer or smartphone, and use a password keeper program or app; never keep passwords written down where they can be found. These steps are important if you want to avoid such an account fraud.
2. Be very cautious when shopping Online
If you enjoy shopping online, as most people do, make sure your computer is safe. Install reliable and automatically updated virus software on your computer and be sure to use a secure wireless network. When paying online, make sure the website is secure by looking for “https:” at the beginning of the web address, and use passwords that are at least 10 characters long.
3. Check Your Credit Report Regularly
Make sure to monitor your credit card statements, bank statements, and credit reports on a regular basis. The earlier you catch a potentially fraudulent transaction, the better the chances that you’ll be able to prevent further trouble. You can get a credit report free every year from annualcreditreport.com, but you should make sure to check your online accounts much more frequently than that to see if anything suspicious is going on.
4. Use ‘Zero-Liability’ Credit Cards Whenever Possible
It’s becoming more and more common for credit card issuers to provide “fraud protection” or cards that offer “zero liability” for unauthorized purchases. Make sure your credit cards have this feature. With this type of coverage, you won’t suffer any loss at all as long as you report any bogus charges or phony activity right away.
5. Report stolen card immediately
If a retailer or a bank that might have your credit card information gets hacked, call your bank, tell them what happened, and ask for a new card. You could wait to see if you get any suspicious charges on your account before alerting your bank, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to take that chance before starting the process.