There is no doubt that technology has made our lives a lot easier and more comfortable. But we can’t ignore the fact that this convenience has also given rise to online fraud.
This is especially true in the case of credit cards. No matter how reputable and popular your credit card company is or how safe your account seems to be, fraudsters often find a way to attack your finances by getting unauthorized access to your cards.
This often happens when you do not pay attention to small details that can help you protect yourself. But these little things make a big difference, and by staying alert, you can avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Continue reading to get useful tips to help you avoid getting scammed. With this information, you can take the first steps toward achieving credit card security.
Avoid Using Non-Secure Websites and Networks
This is one of the biggest mistakes of credit card owners. It is important to never use your credit cards or enter your credit card information on unauthorized and unknown websites.
Sometimes, this happens when credit card owners get an email that looks like it comes from their bank or credit card company. This is known as a “phishing” scam. Fraudsters will send an email that looks official. Once you click the link and enter your password or credit card information, the scammer will now have this information. Be sure to never click those links to access your bank account or credit card.
Additionally, be sure to only use secure networks and your bank’s authorized web-banking site. Do not perform any credit card transaction when you are using a public WiFi connection or a public computer. These networks are used by hackers to get access to your bank or credit card accounts.
Be careful when you are using someone else’s device. Even if you trust the person, they may not use good security practices, and this can compromise your banking or credit card data.
Review Your Statements Every Month
You might be already subscribed to emails and text alerts from your bank or credit card provider. However, it is not enough to rely on these alone. In addition to checking these messages, start a habit of reviewing your credit card statements every month.
If you notice any unusual activity in your account, then immediately report it to your credit card company. Keep track of your credit card receipts and compare them promptly with your statements.
Get Help From Professional Identity Theft Protection Services
Professional identity theft protection services can help you stop identity theft.
Lifelock and Experian are some good examples of these services. These identity protection services make use of technology and talented professionals who scan websites regularly to spot any kind of suspicious or fraudulent activities.
As soon as any suspicious activity is detected, you will be immediately informed through a text message, email or phone call. Most importantly, if you fall victim to an identity theft scam, some service providers help you recover and offer further assistance.
Check Your Credit Report
Alongside your monthly statements, you should check your credit report regularly. A credit report is essentially a report card that contains your current credit accounts and past credit history in an organized way.
You can easily get a free credit report online. Credit reporting services collect and use all the required information about your credit cards and other forms of credit, like your loans. This information is safely provided to them by your credit card issuers, banks and other financial institutions. A credit card report will typically contain the following information:
- Identity: Your personal information such as name, contact information, address, etc.
- Existing credit account information such as your outstanding debt amount, payment history, mortgage loans, other credit cards, etc.
- Closed credit account information from the last 7-10 years.
- Credit Inquiries. This part mentions all the companies that have accessed the credit report in the last couple of years.
If you suspect any fraudulent activity, then you can request a free credit freeze. This restricts access to your account and thereby prevents fraudsters from opening new accounts using your name.
Sign Up for Dark Web Monitoring
Dark web monitoring is another way to prevent yourself from credit card fraud. The dark web is an area or space on the internet that can be only accessed by a specific internet browser. Identity thieves and other criminals use the dark web to remain anonymous and hide their IP address. Dark web monitoring services let you know if your personal information appears on the dark web.
Be Careful With Your Credit Card Receipts
There are a few things you can do with your paper credit card receipts to help prevent fraud:
- If you no longer need a credit card receipt, be sure to tear it up before throwing it out. If you do not do this, a criminal can use the receipt to get your information.
- Hang on to your receipts. Compare them with your credit card statement you get each month.
- If there is a blank spot above the total on your credit card receipt, be sure to draw a line through these spaces. This prevents someone from adding an additional amount onto your transaction.
Avoid Giving Out Your Credit Card Information
Make it a rule of thumb to never give your credit card information to anyone who is not a trusted merchant. Avoid giving out your credit card information over the phone to anyone who claims to be a financial service and asks for your credit card information. Also, be careful when calling back a number you have received in an email, text or answering machine, as there are fair chances of it being a fake number.
Phone calls and messages are one of the simplest methods that scammers use to access your data. Many credit card owners fall for it and become a victim. So, always avoid these situations and only share sensitive information on calls that you have initiated with your credit card issuer.