Credit/Debit Card Fraud: Security & Prevention Tips
Posted on July 5, 2023 at 8:43 AM by Margo Casebolt
Credit card fraud is when another person uses your card information or physical credit card to take out cash advances or make unauthorized purchases in your name. This is also considered a form of identity theft. In this article, we discuss common methods thieves use to commit credit card fraud, along with tips to help you mitigate the risk of falling victim to their crimes.
It's important to be aware of the tactics generally used to commit credit card fraud so that you can safeguard your accounts. Here are some of the ways in which thieves try to steal private information:
- Rummaging – Thieves may dig through garbage, looking for statements or receipts that contain sensitive information. Make sure to shred all documents with bank details or account numbers, rather than throwing them directly in the trash. We highly recommend going paperless by enrolling in e-statements. You can find instructions for doing so on our FAQs page.
- Credit card skimming – Fraudsters can attach skimming devices to ATMs and card readers to steal credit card information from anyone who swipes their card.
- Computer hacking – Hackers can gain unauthorized access to your computer to steal your card information.
- Phishing emails – These emails might contain links or phone numbers asking you to contact them. Never click on links if you aren’t familiar with the sender of the email.
- Calls about prizes or money transfers – Never provide your account information, and make sure you ask a lot of questions.
- Shoulder surfers – These people will look over your shoulder to steal your personal data. Be aware of your surroundings.
Card Security Tips
- Don’t carry all of your cards with you at one time.
- Keep cards in a safe place.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Create strong passwords for all bank accounts and retail sites that may hold your card information.
- Select a safe pin number – avoid numbers or letters that can be associated with you. Do not use initials, birth date, telephone number, or any part of the card number.
- Do not share your pin number with others.
- Do not let others watch you input your pin number.
- Be wary of people trying to “help” you with your ATM transaction. If you feel unsafe or that something is off, move on, and find another location to complete your transaction.
- Always be ready for the transaction. Have your card in hand. This avoids the delay of digging through your purse or wallet.
- Try to avoid large cash withdrawals and take caution when retrieving your cash.
- Take your receipts with you.
Regularly review your account transactions. Check your bank accounts daily. Log into credit card accounts to make sure transactions are accurate.
Check your credit report. Review carefully that all accounts and loans listed are legitimate.
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