Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
By Danielle Buffardi

If you don’t think that credit card fraud can happen to you, think again. It can happen to the best of people with the best credit. Here we’ll discuss four tips to help prevent anyone, anywhere, against credit card fraud.

Tip #1: This one may seem like common sense to most but how many of us actually pay attention to where our credit card is going after it leaves our hands? We think nothing of handing it over to the cashier to swipe for purchases and we naturally expect her to immediately return it, but does that always happen? Of course not, some cashiers keep it verify signatures others hold on to it until our receipt prints, then hand it back to us with the receipt. The key is to watch your card every step of the way. Watch yourself hand it to the cashier and then watch intently as to where she puts it and what she does with it. This will help remind yourself to make sure your card comes back to you rather than spend the next few days in that cashier’s drawer awaiting your return.

Tip #2: Never respond to emails asking for any type of personal information. This includes social security numbers, any type of password or pin numbers, and credit card information. Any reputable company will have your information on file, or if you’ve forgotten a password you will simply reset a new one rather than giving out personal and confidential information about yourself in order to retrieve your old one.

Tip #3: Only carry around the credit cards and other cards that you need. For example, if you’re going out for dinner with your spouse and plan on putting your meal on your debit card, then strictly take just that card with you and a license for verification. Leave your wallet at home as it most likely contains other credit and important cards (e.g. social security card) that you wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands should you loose your wallet or it becomes stolen.

Tip #4: Never leave your credit card receipts lying around. If you sign for something, immediately take your receipt and put it somewhere safe. This is especially important at restaurants. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the “customer copy” of the dinner receipt just lying on the table because the customer either forgot it or simply didn’t think they needed it. Your entire credit card number may not be visible on the receipt, but your name and the last four digits are and that’s enough for a person to maybe begin taking over your identity. To be absolutely safe, take every receipt with you and dispose of them properly as to avoid being an easy target for credit card theft.

Use common sense and precaution when dealing with your credit cards. Keep your eye on yours at all times, always take your receipts, only carry that cards which you know you’re going to need, and avoid giving out any personal information to retrieve passwords or pin numbers.

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