Anyone who has ever had their credit card denied knows how embarrassing and frustrating it can be. One of the leading causes for a card to suddenly be denied is because of unauthorized activity on the card or the card being maxed out due to unauthorized use. Few things can leave you feeling as vulnerable as knowing you have been the victim of credit fraud. To avoid being in this situation, it is important to know what credit card fraud is, how to protect yourself against it, and what credit scam protection is available.
What is Credit Card Fraud and How Does it Happen?
The most common form of credit card fraud is the stealing of the card information. This could be something as simple as picking out an old statement from the trash, finding a lost check or credit card, or as high tech as hacking into your bank account. The scary thing is, the thief would not even have to hack your own computer or website site.
If a hacker breaks into your bank’s site they could gain access to account information and drain your account.Some thieves get high tech and place special recorders in ATM and gas pumps that record your card information when you swipe.
Phone and email credit scams are common where they offer you a reward or a grand prize but to claim you must enter you bank or credit card information. There are many other ways these cunning thieves can get access to your information, and before you know it, you are being charged for things you never bought. This is why it is important to protect your credit and work to prevent credit fraud from happening in the first place.
Is There Anything That Can be Done to Prevent Credit Fraud?
There are some simple yet important steps that you can take to keep your credit cards and account numbers safe. You should keep all of your card numbers, codes, and company phone numbers in a secure place so that you can easily call the company and report your card when it is lost or stolen. Do not carry all of your cards with you; take only what you need for that particular outing- you do not want to lose all three credit cards, and your debit card if your purse gets stolen while you are out shopping.
Do not you’re your card to anyone and keep your statements and receipts filed away in a secure pace that is out of sight. Do not give out your card or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone or online unless you know it is a reputable business. When you no longer need your invoices and records, shred them before you discard them to keep your information safe.
Do not let your card out of your sight during transactions and make sure you get it back- many people ‘lose’ their cards because they forget to put it away after the transaction. Stay on top of your statements and invoices and make sure nothing fishy is going on with your accounts. Report any errors or mistakes immediately to the card company or to your bank and remember that a card that has been compromised will compromise your credit.
As a matter of principle, always ensure that your cyber security status is assured by seeking help from a cyber-security expert in your city. It also doesn’t hurt to invest your time in reading a bit more about your web security, as detailed in this guide we wrote about cyber security. Nonetheless, cyber security and your credit are the closest and connected aspects you should always have in mind.