Identity thieves would love to get their hands on your credit card details. Don’t let them. Take these steps instead and keep your finances safe:
Protect Your Card
Try to keep your credit cards in a wallet or purse that won’t get easily swiped – for example, don’t walk around with your money in your back pocket…you’re just asking to get robbed. Carry only the cards that are absolutely necessary, when you leave the house and choose a bag that contains a zip.
When using your credit card, don’t keep it exposed for long. Thieves can take pictures of your details with a camera phone, so put the plastic away as soon as possible and keep it in a safe place.
Before you leave a store or restaurant, always double check that you have your credit card with you, as it’s sometimes easy to leave it behind, in a moment of absent-mindedness.
Get a Shredder
Instead of just throwing away documents containing your credit card information, shred the letters, to prevent dumpster divers from accessing your details. You can even separate the shredded pieces between bin bags to thwart them further. Some thieves can reconstruct shredded letters.
Don’t Give Out Your Information
It’s common sense really: don’t give out your credit card details to anyone who asks for them. Unless you’re certain you can trust a particular company, refuse to divulge your information. Scammers have been known to pretend to be credit card issuers, in order to extract your credit card number. Be wary of any unsolicited calls asking for your credit card details, even if they say they’re a company you regularly make payments to.
Never click on email links for anyone who is masquerading as your bank or credit card company. They will try to trick you into entering login information on to their fake sites or try to extract personal details out of you.
Likewise, only use your credit card to make purchases on websites that are 100% legitimate and security protected. You can check this by locating a lock symbol in your internet browser. Largely, it’s wise to stick with reputable companies you know you can trust.
As soon as you’ve noticed your credit card is missing, contact your provider immediately. This way, your card is less likely to have been used for fraudulent charges. Keep your credit card company’s customer service number on you at all times, just in case this happens and contact serious fraud lawyers for advice.
Check Your Credit Statements Regularly
Always stay on top of your statements and take the time to read through them carefully. Follow up any unauthorised payments – even if they are small – and report them immediately. It’s likely that you are a victim of fraud and your credit card company will advise you how to proceed from then onwards. It may mean closing down your current account, to protect your finances.