With identity theft on the rise, it's important that you understand credit card protection and know how to guard against becoming one of the nearly 10 million Americans whose identity is stolen each year. According to the Federal Trade Commission, this crime is growing rapidly and criminals are becoming very sophisticated in their methods.
Your credit card information is always at risk for theft. You can avoid credit card fraud by taking steps to keep your credit card details safe. Always be wary of scammers who may try to trick you into giving up your credit card details.
Tips for everyone
- Debit cards do NOT have the protections like credit cards from AMEX, Visa, and MasterCard
- Many of the apps for your smartphone will pop notifications each time a charge goes through giving you instant updates as to when a card is being used
- Use reputable online vendors. Saving a few bucks online, might not be a wise decision after your credit card information gets stolen.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- If you get a voice mail from your credit card company that asks you to call back, only call back using the number listed on the back of your card. Never respond directly to the contact number offered in the message.
- Be suspicious of any emails from a bank or credit card company requesting your account information. Contact the company directly (and not through the unsolicited email) to confirm the request.
- There are two simple signs that you’re secure while shopping online. One is the "padlock" icon located at the top of your browser window, and the other is "https" in the address bar. These confirm that the page you are on is secure and that your data will be encrypted.
Tips for businesses
- Absolutely do NOT use a debit card that is attached to critical checking accounts such as payroll or taxes (You do have separate checking accounts right?)
- Use separate cards and accounts for recurring automatic transactions and another for purchases made in person.
Hope this helps you keep your money safe.