All card users are potential victims of credit or debit card fraud. A thief does not have to steal your credit card or rifle through your trash to get account numbers. Any time you use your card your account number is exposed to everyone who is involved in the transaction, from the merchant to the merchant’s bank or third party processor, if applicable. Although there is no foolproof way to avoid fraud entirely, here are a few tips that you can practice to help maximize your protection from credit or debit card fraud.
How to Protect Yourself
Never leave cards or receipts lying around
Avoid signing blank receipts
Keep a record of your card numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone numbers and addresses of each creditor, and store in a secure place
Report any questionable charges to the card issuer promptly
Never give your account numbers over the phone or online, unless you are initiating the transaction and you know the company is reputable
Save receipts to compare with your billing statements or better yet, compare them to your online history before your statement is even generated
VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT – NEXT STEPS
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, act quickly and follow these steps to potentially minimize the impact.
Keep a detailed log of all contacts you make during your recovery efforts.
Contact the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your account.