The United States may incur more than $12 billion in losses due to credit card fraud by 2020. You may have realized that the rates of fraud seem to be increasing as the economy moves towards cashless transfers. The likelihood of losing money on credit, debit and pre-paid cards heightens every day.
Imagine, accessing your bank account only to realize that there was a fraudulent transaction involving thousands of dollars? This is the reality you must grapple with as the risk of credit-card theft increases by the day. Every year, millions of innocent citizens fall victims to cases of credit card fraud despite the efforts to combat the issue.
Unfortunately, credit card fraud is becoming more and more common. Find out how to avoid it and prevent yourself from becoming a victim with these easy steps.
So What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorized use of your credit card to make a purchase, withdraw or transfer funds. You may wonder how this happens, right? If you ever lost your credit card, fraudsters may use such a card to make fraudulent transactions with ease.
The fraudsters are able to steal your PIN and card information, which makes it possible to complete these transactions without even needing your credit card. These fraudsters are able to use skimmers on the ATM machines to capture critical information.
Considering this new approach to fraud, it is important to consider the various options available to secure your account.
1. Secure Your Credit Cards
This is the easiest approach to deal with the rise in the cases of credit card theft. You may have been a victim of a lost wallet or purse at one time. These incidents may seem inconsequential until you realize a trend of unauthorized transactions through your credit card.
Keeping your credit cards safe is crucial if you wish to remain in control of your account. You need to be extra vigilant to ensure that you retrieve your card every time you use them for various transactions. This minimizes the risk of forgetting such cards after completing your transactions.
Carry only the credit cards you need throughout the day. You may have three to five credit, debit, and prepaid cards. These increase the risk of loss, especially during a busy day.
You may reduce the risk of loss by only carrying the cards you are sure you may need that day. Also, make sure that your card does not remain exposed for more time than it is necessary. This approach minimizes the risk of these fraudsters taking pictures or scanning your card without your knowledge.
You may also need to reduce the instances where you allow your spouse, children or relatives to use your card.
2. Shred Any Card Information That May Lead to Fraud
You are a busy person and at times you lose track of the number of transactions you undertake daily. Even so, it is important to ensure that safety begins with you. You need to pay attention more to the instances where you give your personal information, especially in written form to avoid credit card theft.
This may be the beginning of trouble if you are not keen enough. You may have requested a credit card billing statement. There could have been a letter of inquiry you sent to your financial institution with your credit card information as the reference number.
In all these instances, your credit card information is likely to appear in a conspicuous manner that may compromise your safety. You need to track all the papers that may have your personal information and credit card information and destroy them if need be. These reduce the risk of fraudulent credit card transactions.
In the future, you may also need to consider the option of shredding all documents that have your personal information or card information. This means that you need to be extra careful with all your paperwork to ensure that you keep track of the information that may be public. Shred any paper that may compromise the safety of your account.
3. Review Your Online Activities
One of the emerging concerns in the modern e-business context is the risk of losing money online. The comfort that transacting online offers is immense. However, these transactions may also compromise the safety of your account in a big way.
When transacting online, you will be requested to give your credit card number and the three-digit unique code at the back of your card. This information is enough to cause you a major financial loss if it ends up in the wrong hands. You may end up falling to prey to online fraudsters who phis for such information online.
You may need to be extra vigilant when dealing with online activities that require transactions. Always ensure that such transactions are only with the officials of the company or firm you are dealing with. If you suspect that the site is not official, resist the temptation of giving out delicate information.
The most important thing is never to give personal information online at any cost, unless you are applying to an online loan. It is important to remain alert even when individual callers who purport to represent certain companies call. Do not give such individuals any information that may lead to potential losses.
4. Review Your Security Measures
The various credit companies globally seem keen on changing the security policies that govern credit card transactions. You may need to take advantage of this changing scope of safety and security measures.
For instance, your password is an important part of avoiding credit card scam. Changing your password often can save you the concern related to the unauthorized access of your account. Emphasize on the privacy of your password information always.
Above all, take advantage of the two-step verification features that synchronize your account with your personal phone information.
5. Act Fast in Case You Detect Trouble
You may need to act in haste in your reaction to instances of possible credit card fraud. First, reporting to your credit card provider as soon as you lose your credit card is critical. This can assist in de-activating the card.
Second, you may need to review your bank statements often to detect any possible unusual transactions. If you notice such transactions freeze your accounts immediately and notify the authorities.
Do Not Fall Prey to Credit Card Fraud
Information is power. Understanding the dynamics that lead to instances of credit card fraud can save you potential financial losses.
You need to take charge of your private information while also securing your credit cards. You also need to understand and safeguard your online activities to reduce the risk of online credit card scams. While these cards present comfort and convenience, they may also be the source of your financial troubles.
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