Tips for Preventing Credit Card Fraud


year, identity theft is responsible for billions of dollars in lost money and time. Of the many types of identity theft, credit card fraud is one of the more common types, in part because it is relatively easy and has a low risk. Also, most companies, like Visa, do not actively pursue small time credit card fraud, as this hurts their image, so it is easy to fly under the radar for some time.

Since credit card fraud is so common, it is important to make an effort to protect yourself from this type of crime.

  • Make sure to sign your credit card right away. Some people opt to write "Check ID" on the back of their credit card in the hopes that the clerk will ask for their ID. This is because most credit card companies prohibit merchants from checking ID, otherwise they risk loosing their agreement with the credit card company. As a result, writing "Check ID" is rarely effective and could actually hurt you, as technically, the credit card company would argue that you did not properly activate the card. Instead of requesting ID, the credit card companies expect the merchant to cross match the signatures on the receipt vs the card, but again, this is seldom done.
  • Try to avoid letting anyone take your credit card from you. This is a big problem in restaurants, where the server may need to take the card in the back to process it. However, this provides an excellent opportunity for someone to steal your credit card number, so try to avoid this if at all possible. While this has been very common in restaurants, many are moving away from it. If you goto a restaurant that requires this, ask to speak to the manager and address your concerns.
  • Save and destroy your receipts. By law, receipts can no longer contain your full credit card number, but not all businesses honor this. Also, even if your full number isn't on there, the last four digits of the credit card, the users name, and expiration date usually are, which can still be beneficial to a thief. Instead of just throwing them in the trash can, make sure to actually physically destroy all financial documents.
  • Be very wary giving anyone your credit card number, especially on the phone. If you did not initiate the situation, be especially wary and ask for their phone number, so you can verify it and call them back, instead of giving them the number right away.
  • Be extremely careful when making online purchases and entering any personal information into a web site. phishing is incredibly common and involves creating a fake website that looks like a bank or real store. The criminal will send an official looking email in the hopes that someone responds to it.

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