Ways to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

By: Sara Peterson1

In today’s economy, credit card use is becoming more and more prevalent. Whether you are making a purchase in a store, online or through the mail many consumers will use their credit card to make that payment. However with the convenience credit cards and the easy access to individual’s credit card information, we are seeing more credit card fraud being committed. Individuals that make purchases online will store all of their credit card information on that specific website. Although most of these websites are secure there are situations where the websites get hacked and individuals gain all of your credit card information to make unauthorized purchases. There are ways consumers can protect themselves from credit card fraud.
The first way to protect yourself is to sign the back of the credit card with permanent ink as soon as you receive it in the mail. This is a good way to prevent an individual from forging your signature. If you lose your credit card or believe it was stolen contact the credit card company immediately. Once they are notified they will cancel the card so that no purchases can be made on the card. If unauthorized purchases were made after the card was stolen, most credit card companies will not charge the cardholder for those purchases. Individuals should keep track of their credit cards and never loan them to anyone else.
Credit card owners know that paying your bills or making purchases is much easier because most companies accept payment over the phone or through their website. If you plan to make a payment online only provide your credit card information to companies you trust on a secured system. Entering your information online makes it easier for an individual to get a hold of your credit card information.
Keep copies of all of your credit card receipts so that you can check them with your monthly statement. Statements should be reviewed monthly to make sure all of the transactions were authorized. Anything that does not look familiar or was not purchased by you should be reported to the credit card company. After you have reviewed your statement and receipts all paperwork should be shredded. Any paperwork that has personal or credit card information on it should be destroyed before throwing away so it cannot be used to commit fraud.
A final way to prevent credit card fraud is to notify the credit card company of a change of address. By providing them with the new address, you will avoid new cards or statements being mailed to your old address where unauthorized individuals would receive access to your credit card information. Following these simple practices will help protect yourself from credit card fraud.

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