How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud

One of the biggest drawbacks with using credit cards is the amount of fraudsters out there. Unscrupulous people steal your identity and can seriously damage your credit rating and scores by spending money on your card using your name. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent people from stealing your identity and using your name. It doesn’t matter what kind of credit card you own, they can easily steal your information. This is a big concern especially with gas cards. Why? With the pump and pay convenience that gas cards advocate, it will be harder for you to protect yourself in the even that your card is stolen.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your identity with your credit cards:

  • Sign your cards! A lot of Americans forget to do this. This is one way to prevent people from picking through your mailbox and taking cards to sign them. Yes, people do this. They go through your trash to.
  • Keep a master list. Keep a master list of your card’s expiration numbers, account numbers and customer service numbers. In case your cards are lost/stolen or you lose your wallet you’ll know exactly which ones to cancel. Keep this in a safe or a secure place.
  • Destroy old cards, carbons and receipts if you must throw them away. This way fraudsters can’t get your information from your trash.
  • Don’t lend your cards and keep an eye on them whenever you use them. Fraudsters often have inside people who copy your numbers.
  • Don’t scatter your information online. Keep your SSN to yourself, as well as your birthday and other numbers that identity thieves may use to impersonate you. Make sure you conduct online transactions through safe routes and verifiable merchants.
  • Don’t give out your credit card numbers to people over the phone. Scammers get a lot of information by pretending to be some company or other.
  • Think about investing in an Identity Protection plan of some sort. This can give you the much needed help and insurance that you may need in case this happens to you.
  • Keep track of your bills and receipts. Check over your statement to see if there are charges being made that you are not familiar with.

In case something happens:

  • Report lost cards ASAP. This way the card gets stopped as soon as you report it. This prevents thieves from racking up charges that can potentially damage your credit rating.
  • Report ALL cards that you think you’ve lost or have been stolen. It’s less hassle to wait for new cards (with new account numbers) than to end up with tons of unpaid bills that some idiot has racked up.
  • If you suspect or see weird activity on your card, call it in. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

When using your gas card, always ask for receipts to confirm your transaction. This is also a good way to confirm your rebates. If there isn’t a machine that you can easily see and the station doesn’t provide pay by the pump convenience, then go and swipe your card at the counter. Don’t hand out your card to the attendant and let him do it. These few precautions can save you a major headache in the future.

See: Gas credit card

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