If you use credit cards it is essential that you know how to protect yourself from credit card fraud. It won’t always be as easy or obvious as large cash advances appearing on your monthly statement. It can be as subtle as a gas purchase that looks like yours. There are certain things that one can do to minimize the risk of credit card fraud.
Tips to help you prevent credit card fraud
- Know your numbers – Make a list of your credit card numbers and store them in a safe place. Many credit card companies do not list the account number on your statement and use the last four digits of the card for identification purposes. If you lose your card you will need this information to close the account.
- Pick one, store the rest – If you have several cards pick one to carry and use and store the rest in a safe place for other major purchases. This will eliminate the loss of all your credit cards if your wallet or purse is stolen or lost.
- Don’t hand it over – Credit card theft happens in various ways. You lend your card to a family member or friend and then later discover that they used the card for purposes other than what you authorized. If you allow a merchant to remove the card from your sight when it is being processed they can extract the account information with a credit reader and use the number to make illegal purchased on your card. Always maintain positive control of your card when it is in use.
- Read your statement – The only way to know for sure what charges were made on your card is to read your statement. If you do not check your statement carefully you might have charges on your card that you did not make or authorize.
- Report inconsistencies – If you see an entry on your statement that you do not recognize you may want to contact the vendor to check and see if the purchase was legitimate. If you are unable to resolve the matter with the vendor be sure to report the charge to your credit card company for resolution.