Using credit cards to make purchases is not only convenient but also exhilarating. You can purchase big-ticket items such as TVs even when you don’t have cash on hand. With just one swipe, the item you’ve set your eyes on is yours!
Unfortunately, irresponsible use of credit cards also poses risks. Credit card fraud and scams have become a major problem. So always be vigilant to avoid fraud and unauthorized charges on your account.
1. Keep Your Credit Card Safe
Do: Place your credit cards in your wallet or anywhere safe. Make sure that it can’t easily be snatched away.
Don’t: Leave your credit card exposed and seen by anyone.
First of all, keep your credit cards in a safe place. Make sure that they are not easily stolen from your possession. If possible, only take one or two credit or debit cards with you. Leave your other cards at home.
Additionally, don’t leave your credit card lying around. Criminals can easily take photos of your credit card and make a copy. That said, place your credit card back in your wallet after every use.
2. Properly Dispose of Expired Credit Cards
Do: Shred or cut up old credit and debit cards once they’re expired. The credit card number must not be visible.
Don’t: Simply toss your credit card in the trash bin thinking they’re useless.
Expired credit cards can still be useful for criminals. They can use the card details to create a new account or make illegal transactions. That said, shred old, expired, or canceled credit cards. Go a step further and place the cut-up pieces in different trash bags.
Do this for your credit card billing statements, ATM receipts, and other documents with your credit or debit card details.
3. Be Extra Careful When Disclosing Sensitive Information
Do: Keep your credit card information and other bank details safe. Only talk to trusted people from your credit card issuer.
Don’t: Talk to unknown callers.
Credit card scammers are very smart. They’ll use different tactics to trick you into sharing your credit card details. For example, they might pretend to be someone from your bank or card issuer. Or they might pretend to offer lower interest rates but in exchange, they’ll ask for your name and card number. Don’t fall for such tricks.
Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Additionally, don’t give your credit card number to anyone who calls you. Especially if you can’t verify the authenticity of the call. If you need assistance, only call the customer service number on the back of your credit card. Doing so will keep you safe from fraud, identity theft or even illegal money lender.
4. Keep Your Credit Card Information Safe During Online Transactions
Do: Double-check the authenticity of the website. Only trust secure websites with an https:// address and a padlock icon.
Don’t: Click suspicious email links and store credit card numbers on merchant sites.
Don’t trust emails that may look like they came from your bank or credit card companies. These emails may contain links used for phishing scams. Criminals want to trick you into entering your login information to gain access to your funds.
More importantly, be vigilant when using your credit card online. If possible, don’t store your credit card information on merchant sites. To check whether the website is secure:
- The website must have an https in the url address
- There should be a padlock icon in the status bar or address bar
- Check whether the website certificate is valid by clicking on the padlock icon
5. Never Sign A Blank Credit Card Receipt
Do: Double-check the amount in the credit card receipt. Make sure that you’ve been charged the right amount.
Don’t: Sign a blank charge receipt.
Verify the amount on your receipt before signing it. If the receipt has blank spaces, write $0 or draw a line above the total amount before signing. Lastly, get rid of any canceled or carbon receipts.
6. Know Your Balance and Check Your Credit Every Month
Do: Keep track of your balance and credit card purchases.
Don’t: Throw receipts and neglect your bank account for long periods.
You never know when identity thieves can get a hold of your credit card information or bank details. That said, you need to be on top of your transactions. If possible, keep receipts or record your purchases. In doing so, you can easily check for fraudulent charges on your credit card.
If you notice a fraudulent activity in your credit report, report it to your credit card companies immediately. One of your options is to close your account and stop any further transactions.
Some credit card scams are more complex. For instance, scammers create fake web pages that imitate the look of a bank’s login page. Learning how to avoid falling for their tricks can keep your identity as well as your money safe.
Credit card fraud can happen at any time. These are just a few steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
If you fall victim to these crimes, immediately report them to your credit card issuer. Dispute any fraudulent transactions. You can also seek the help of local authorities.
That said, always keep track of your credit report and billing statements. In case of a lost or stolen credit card, immediately report it to your credit card company. Doing so will help prevent fraudulent acts and identity theft. Lastly, only trust secure websites and be careful in disclosing your credit card number and other information.
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