We’ve all heard about this person or that person being a victim of credit card fraud, however, we never really believe it. We think we’re protected in a safe bubble and nothing could touch us. Bubble bursts and we crash to earth with a reality check so harsh it’s unbelievable. With the increase in the global scope of online fraud to epic proportions, rarely anyone can say they are entirely removed from the possibility of becoming a victim of fraudulent activities.
Continuing on our quest to spread information about all things credit cards everywhere, today, we have some tips for you to recognize credit card fraud along with listing down appropriate actions to take if you are indeed a victim of credit card fraud. Only that we will tell you a couple of secrets to stop credit card fraud. Let’s get to it:
Tips to Recognize Credit Card Fraud: The Warning Signs
- Inaccurate changes on your credit card statements, listing transactions you don’t understand or recognize.
- Receipts, emails or notices of approval or denial for credit card accounts you may not have applied for.
- Correspondence regarding large transactions you are not aware of.
- Calls from collection agencies regarding credit card accounts you do not know of.
- Tampered or missing mail from your regular couriers.
- Emails were requesting personal information from banks.
- Denial of transactions citing lack of funds when sufficient funds should be available on your credit card.
Should you ever encounter any of the above-listed warning signs, or any other discrepancies and recognize them for what they are you should immediately:
- Call your credit card issuing company to report any inconsistencies or a stolen or missing card.
- Contact local law enforcement services to file a report for credit card theft.
- Make sure to place a fraud alert on your online credit report immediately.
- Record date and times of calls made to the credit card companies and kept copies of any communication that may take place between you and the issuing company as proof of contact and report.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are a few tips for you to protect yourself against credit card fraud and prevent it from happening:
- Activate a new card from your home phone number if you have one; cellular phones are more comfortable to tap into.
- Sign the back of your new card within permanent ink as soon as you receive it.
- Record all your information and keep it in a safe and secure place.
- Protect your information: NEVER write down your PIN codes, passwords, or credit card account numbers and carry them with you. Memorize them.
- Never give out your information online or on the phone unless you trust them and know them.
- Carry credit cards separate pouches from your wallet. In case of theft, report to your credit card issuing company post-haste.
- Have passwords and PIN codes that are difficult to decipher and figure out.
- Keep your eye out whenever performing any transactions, especially ATM transactions for anyone lurking around.
- Save receipts to compare with your bank statements and reports.
- Open bills promptly or check them online often to keep track of purchases you’ve made.
- Try to avoid the use of a public computer to access your accounts.
- If you bank online, never use the ‘automatic sign in’ for any credit card or bank site.
- Review your bank statements carefully. Keep account of dates and times of the statement. Report any missing comments or any other inconsistency immediately.