How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

October 02, 2018
Prevention is better than cure. That is so true, especially in the event of credit card fraud. Fixing a situation like this is such a hassle that it’s better to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips to do just that.
How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Secret PIN

The first step in preventing credit card fraud is to keep your PIN (personal identification number) secret. Do not use an easy to guess PIN like your birthdate, phone number or address. Memorize it, do not write it down. Change it often, and do not share it with anyone, not even a family member.

At Home

When you receive a new credit card, sign the back of it right away. Cut up the old credit cards that are not valid anymore. Keep your statements in a safe place, and shred them once you have no more use of them.

In Public Places

While shopping, you should always stay aware of your surroundings while paying. Be on the alert for anything suspicious. If something seems off about the terminal or the ATM, report it to the business head office and your credit card company. Hide the keypad while entering your PIN. Do not carry too many credit cards on you at the same time, and those you do take with you, keep in a safe place.

Online

Keep your anti-virus and firewall up to date at all times. Do not give your credit card information by e-mail. It isn’t secure. Be wary of e-mails that seem to be legitimate and require for you to enter your information, even if they look to be from companies with whom you usually do business. Contact the company directly by another means to make sure it isn’t a scam. Be careful on which websites you make purchases or enter your card information. Make sure they are legitimate and secure websites. Check for the https in the address bar or the padlock image. Try not to use a public computer when shopping online or doing your banking, and if you have to use one, clear the cache and history of the computer before leaving.

On The Phone

Only give out your credit card information to companies that you know to be trustworthy. If in doubt when somebody calls you pretending to be from your bank or credit card company, take down their name and phone number and hang up. Contact your bank or credit card company (use the phone number on the back of your card). Ask them if that person at that phone number is legitimate and if you can give them your information. If it is legitimate, you can then call the person back. Do not give out your credit card information if you are in a public place or someone might overhear.

Other Useful Tips

Report any stolen or lost card immediately. In a safe place at home, keep a list of your cards with the numbers to call if anything happens. Check your statements and report any transactions that are suspicious.

With these tips in mind, you might not prevent credit card fraud from happening altogether, but you will diminish the chances of it occurring to you.