Prevent Credit Card Fraud
One of the biggest problems that people have financially is probably credit card fraud.
With the number of different ways that credit cards are used now, it’s more and more likely that a credit card could be stolen.
While it is scary to find out how many credit card numbers are stolen every day, you should just remember that there are a few simple precautions that you can take to protect yourself from credit card fraud.
First, all you need to do is to make sure that you keep your credit card with you at all times. You should always know where your wallet and credit card is so that if the physical card is ever stolen, you will know right away.
However, not every credit card that is involved in credit card fraud is stolen in person. In fact, a lot of credit cards are stolen or used in fraudulent practices just with the credit card number itself.
There are a few major ways that thieves get access to credit card numbers. The first is by checking through the garbage can in order to find any credit card receipts that might have the full credit card number on them.
These receipts are then used to either buy things online, or to make a new card that uses your credit card number and information.
The other way that thieves can get access to your credit card number is by getting it offline. As a result, you should be very careful about which websites you give your credit card number to. Always make sure that you are putting the card number into forms on a website that you trust.
One way to make sure that you are not entering the credit card information into the wrong place is to avoid entering your number into websites that you get to through links in emails.
If you ever get an email from a website that requires your credit card number, and it is a site that you have purchased from in the past, then you should go to the URL manually by typing it into the address bar in your internet browser.
That way, you won’t be tricked into giving your number to people trying to commit credit card fraud by websites using host masks.
You should also check your credit report as often as you can. That way, if there are any unusual charges on your card, or evidence of credit card fraud, you’ll know right away.
The first thing you should do if you notice irregular charges is to call your credit card company and report the stolen credit card. Remember, if you call in right away, you will not be held responsible for the charges on your card.
The best way to keep yourself from falling victim to credit card fraud is to stay aware of what your credit card is being used for.
Fraud On Credit Cards
Credit card fraud has become a major problem in modern society and it continues to steadily worsen.
Credit cards are used in such a variety of ways, it makes it extremely easy for an offender to steal your card. There are precautions that can be taken, however, to prevent yourself from falling victim to credit card fraud.
You should have your credit cards always with you for safe keeping. It is wise to tote your credit cards around in a vehicle besides your wallet.
Enclose them in something separate such as a business card holder, small container or little pouch. Here is a fact you may not know: Not every card involved in credit card fraud is actually physically snatched.
Some thieves will use only the credit card number in their illegal ventures. Make sure you are alert with each credit transaction you make, and get your card back immediately after it is finished.
Cyberspace has become a breeding ground for credit card fraud. You need to be cautious about the online companies and website that you supply your credit card number with.
Refrain from entering your credit card information into websites that you are linked to through emails. The best thing to do is to avoid giving out your credit card number online at all costs.
If you must make an online payment, there are several reputable services that will allow you to pay without supplying your credit card information to a third party.
Some larcenists will sink to any level to gain entry into your credit card information file. Many will rummage through garbage cans searching for credit card receipts or bill stubs with the complete account numbers on them.
These numbers are then used to purchase things over the internet or to create a new credit card using your number and credit information.
Any document containing your credit card account number should never be left lying around, and although it seems a bit extreme, should never be thrown away unless completely destroyed.
Checking your credit report periodically will alert you to any unusual activity happening with your credit cards. If you do find that unauthorized charges have been made to one or more of your credit cards, there are choices to be made and steps to be taken.
First off, you should call your credit card company and let them know that your credit card or credit card number may have been stolen and you want the card canceled. Now, the person who has taken your card cannot make any further purchases.
Calling immediately will lessen your chances of having to pay for the charges made to your card and limit the amount of harm that has already been inflicted to your credit.
Always be on the lookout for identity theft fraud
Nothing will prevent you from being an identity theft fraud victim. These criminals can easily commit identity because of the careless information-handling processes in the workplace, lenient credit industry practices, and the effortlessness of getting SSNs.
However, you can lessen your risk of fraud by following some simple steps. Consider them so you will not find yourself in the middle of an identity theft fraud.
On credit and debit reports.
1. Do not make it a habit of carrying all your credit and debit cards in your wallet at all times. It is also not advisable to use debit cards because they are more prone to losses to your checking account.
But you can have at least one or two credit cards and your ATM with you. If you are used to using debit cards, make the most of online access to your bank account to check your account activity regularly. It is best to report early signs of fraud to your financial bank or institution the earliest possible time.
2. When using your cards in public establishments, be wary of how they are being handled. Pay attention on how these cards are swiped by the clerk or waiter.
There are some employees who are using non-detectable skimmers to swipe the card and get the account number data from a personal computer later on. They can use the information achieved to purchase online or to make counterfeit cards.
3. It is not a good idea to use debit cards when you are shopping over the Internet. Instead of these cards, use a credit card instead. Yu are better protected if you use these kind of cards whenever you do some purchase online.
4. Maintain a list of copy of all your cards. You should also have a separate list for the account numbers, dates of expiration and phone numbers of customer service and fraud establishments.
It is best to keep them with you at all times. Put them in a safe pocket of what you are wearing so you will have immediate access to them whenever the need arises.
5. Do not give out any of your personal information over the phone, Internet or by mail. You can do this if you have enough trust on the person who will be receiving them.
One of the strategy that identity thieves use is calling out to their potential victims and telling them that they have won some contest. They will then tell you that you need to give out some personal data so you can get your prize.
6. Do not dispose your receipts anywhere. Always try and bring them along with you. If ever you want to throw them away, tear them first and find a safe place to thrash it in.
It is not wise to put receipts on shopping bags when you go shopping. Put them in your wallet or purse to avoid having someone getting hold of them.
7. Do not have your credit card number written your checks. Besides being exposed to dishonest persons, this is also in violation to some of the law in many states.
Take note that by doing this, you are more prone to being a victim of fraud.
8.Check the mail always especially if you are waiting for one of your cards to arrive. You never know who might be watching out for them and try to steal them when you are not looking.
If the card does not arrive at the anticipated date and time, contact the card company or the issuer to make sure that it have not fallen into the wrong hands already.
9. Request for a credit report at least once a year. The law gives you the right to one free credit report each year from the three credit bureaus.
Your credit report will show drastic signs and changes if ever you are a victim of identity theft. You might find in them inquiries not made by you, along with new accounts that you did not request or open.
The sooner you notice that an identity fraud is taking place, the easier and quicker it will be to clean up your credit files and get back your financial capabilities.
10 Tips To Reduce Your Exposure And Prevent Identity Theft
Identity theft is the country’s fastest-growing financial crime. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the past 5 years, including 9.9 million people last year alone.
Some ways to prevent becoming a victim could include avoid using credit cards or debit cards, stop filling out more credit applications, and cancel all of your credit cards.
But the fact is that most exposure to identity theft is beyond your control, because there is still enough information about you and your finances floating around out there for identity thieves to put their hands on.
Here are some tips to reduce your exposure and prevent identity theft:
1 – Make It As Difficult As Possible For The Thief.
Most Identity thieves aren’t dedicated, but opportunistic creatures. If they come across any difficulty in getting your information, they will move on to the next potential victim.
Keep your documents under lock and key. Don’t make it easy for a repairman or a guest in your house to walk off with your checkbook or some of your important files. Don’t fool yourself, you don’t have to be rich or have a high credit score to have your identity stolen.
Some identity thieves say that middle-class folks make the best targets, because they pay less attention to their finances than wealthy individuals.
2- Monitor Your Credit Report Constantly.
The first hint that you might have become a victim is a suspicious entry on your credit report. Experts recommend that you review your credit report twice a year or more.
3 – Buy a Paper Shredder.
Papers and documents that include personal financial information or your social security number must be shredded before is sent to the trash.
4 – Ask About Business Shredding Policies.
When required to give personal financial information, ask if the business has a shredding policy in place. Financial institutions, tax preparers,
and companies with medical information should all be able to shred copies of your documents or have you come and pick them up, so you can do it yourself.
5 – Don’t Give Out Your Social Security Number.
Only Employers, IRS, DMV, Social Security Administration and certain Financial Institutions and Insurers that use your SSN to run credit checks to determine your premiums should be allowed to have this nine-digit number.
When asked for your SSN as proof that you are who you say you are, give them only the last four digits.
6 – Protect Your Incoming and Outgoing Mail.
Get a Locking Mailbox. Many identity thieves simply follow the mail man around and grab what they can from unprotected mailboxes.
Consider using the nearest post office to send all your mail, rather than leaving it out where anyone can take it. Or sign up for a secure online bill-paying service.
7 – Always Keep an Eye on Your Debit Card.
Just like a credit card, your ATM card can be used without punching in a personal identification number. The banks won’t hold you responsible for fraud using
VISA or MasterCard logo cards but a thief can quickly empty your bank account and could be days until the bank can restore the stolen cash.
Use a credit card when paying a restaurant bill or anywhere you won’t be able to monitor the actual transaction.
8 – Be Wary of Phone Solicitors and E-mails.
Don’t give out sensitive information by phone or email to requests purporting to be from financial institutions, unless you initiated contact or really thrust the institution.
Criminals are using a technique called “phishing,” which uses an email claiming to be from your Bank and that redirects you to a look-alike website where you are asked to input your account numbers.
When contacted this way, do not reply to the email and only call the Bank’s 1-800 number from your statement for communication.
9 – Monitor Your Social Security Statements.
Make sure you are being credited for all the taxes you have paid into the system. Missing earnings or earnings that are not yours can be an indication of fraud. Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 if there are any discrepancies.
10 – Carry Only the Necessary in Your Wallet.
Do not carry your Social Security Number in your wallet and only a few credit and debit cards should be in it. In case you have your wallet stolen,
grab your cell or the nearest phone immediately and call to cancel your most important credit cards such as 1-800-VISA911 and 1-800-MASTERCARD. Also, make a photocopy of all your cards and your driver’s license. This will make it easier to report the thefts and get them replaced.
You Lost Your Debit Card — How Much Do You Pay?
You stop at the grocery store for just a few items, but the next thing you know, you have a cart full of food and only a few bucks in you pocket.
That when you notice that you left your checkbook at home, but it’s not a problem you have your debit card with you.
You slide your card, punch in a few numbers and your on your way. A few days later you notice that you don’t have your debit card and now instead of enjoying its convenience, you’re worried about how much in fraudulent charges you’ll be responsible for.
Debit cards have become extremely popular as the plastic of choice for paying for many types of purchases.
According to consumer experts more than 2/3rd of Americans have a debit card in their wallet and, in 2003, debit card purchases topped $1.48 trillion, outpacing credit card purchases by nearly $300 million.
The convince of sliding a card instead of writing a check has been a boon for retailers, but its also been a boon for debit card fraudsters and identity thieves.
Last year the American Bankers Association (ABA) reported that fraud involving debit cards cost banks nearly $51 million and many bankers believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re one of those people who prefer using your debit card instead of writing a check, then you need to know that you’re at risk of losing money every time you slide your card or present it to pay a bill. How much you can lose depends on the type of card you carry and when you report the loss or theft.
What’s your responsible for fraudulent charges on your card?
Since your debit card is tied to your checking or savings account, if it’s lost or stolen and someone else uses it, the consequences could be financially devastating.
The amount of fraudulent charges you could be responsible for depends on how quickly you report the card lost or stolen to the issuing bank.
If you determine that your card has been lost or stolen and report it to the issuing bank within 2 days, of discovering the loss, you’ll only be held responsible for up to $50 of fraudulent charges made on your card.
If you report the card lost or stolen in 2 to 60 days, you can be responsible for up to $500 in fraudulent charges.
If you wait more than 60 days after receiving a bank statement that includes an unauthorized transfer,
you can be held responsible for an unlimited amount of fraudulent charges on your card, but you will not be held responsible for any funds withdrawn after you notify your bank that the card was lost or stolen.
Debit cards with the Master Card or Visa logo offer a higher level of protection for some consumers. Visa and Master Card have both placed a voluntary limit of $50 on debit cards bearing their logo where the transactions are signature based.
Steps to take if your debit card is lost or stolen
In the event that your debit card is lost or stolen, there are certain steps you need to take immediately to limit your responsibility for fraudulent charges.
First, call the issuing bank and cancel the card immediately! If you contact the bank and cancel the card before any charges are made on the card you won’t be held responsible for any charges.
Even if you think you lost the card and that you may find it, it’s safer to cancel the card and limit your liability. Make sure that you keep a written record of the date, time and who you spoke to at the issuing bank.
Second, file a police report. Whether or not your bank requires it, you should file a police report with your local police department.
In the event that a negative entry is made on your credit report about charges that were fraudulent, you’ll need the report to prove that you didn’t make the charges.
The best way to prevent fraudulent charges on your card is to keep your card and account numbers out of the hands of thieves.
Identity thieves are extremely sophisticated and they don’t need to have the physical card to drain your account, all they need certain information from the card. Here are some steps that you should take to protect yourself from card thieves.
Be aware of your surroundings. If you use your debit card at an ATM machine, make sure that you’re aware of who is around you and shield the keyboard with your body when entering your personal identification number (PIN).
When using a drive up ATM, make sure that the area is well lit and is in view of passing traffic. Don’t use an ATM in a neighborhood you feel uncomfortable in.
Check out the ATM machine. If there is a transparent overlay on the ATM keyboard don’t use the machine. ATM thieves use keyboard overlays to capture PINs.
Also, if there is a detached card reader next to the machine, take your business elsewhere: these devices are used to capture debit card data.
Don’t use your debit card for online purchases, use your credit card. If online thieves get your debit card information they can drain your bank account; if they get your credit card information they can only make charges up to the credit limit of the card.
It’s much easier and less costly to dispute credit card charges than charges than withdrawals from your bank account.
Commit your PIN to memory, don’t write it down. Don’t give your PIN to anyone, not even someone at the issuing bank.
Using your debit card to pay for purchases is convenient and fast, but it also exposes you to numerous risks. Be card smart: keep track of your debit card, monitor your bank account on a regular basis, take precautions when using your debit card, and, if your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately.
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