Weekly Roundup: Protecting Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

As credit card fraud is becoming more and more common, protecting your identity has never been more important. Here are five articles that give us a look at credit card fraud. More specifically, they highlight exactly how credit card fraud works and ways you can protect yourself.

1. Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

“Never give out personal information on the phone to someone you don’t know and who initiated the call. Often, scam artists phone unsuspecting victims pretending to be their financial services company and request information to be provided over the phone. Usually, the story is to “update records” or sell a product. Get their name, phone number and address, and then call them back at the number you have on file or that is printed on the statements you receive”
Lee Ann Obringer shows us the various ways in which identity theft can occur. She says one of the easiest ways is when scam artists are able to convince people to reveal personal financial details over the phone. A good rule of thumb is to never get out your sensitive credit information over the phone unless you initiate the call.

2. Making Sure Your Mailing Address Is up to Date

“Keep your mailing address up to date with the personal finance providers to avoid unauthorized individuals from obtaining your information. This should help you determine if anyone has filed for a change in address on your behalf to obtain your personal details.”

This TaxACT blog article specifies some of the key ways fraud occurs and how you can protect yourself. One of the easiest and most fullproof ways to prevent fraud is to make sure your mailing address is consistently updated. This is extremely important if you’ve recently moved or are planning on moving in the near future.

3. Keeping Tabs on Your Receipts

“To avoid credit card fraud, always verify the amount on your credit card receipt before signing it. If you get a credit card receipt that has blank spaces in it, write $0 in those spaces or draw through them before putting your signature on the card. Otherwise, the cashier could write in an amount and send the purchase to your credit card issuer.”

In this About.com credit article, LaToya Irby shows us seven ways to avoid credit card fraud. As receipts are given out for almost every purchase, it’s important you always make sure that everything is properly filed out before returning their copy.

4. Avoid Credit Card Fraud by Monitoring Your Monthly Statements

“Pay attention to charges that don’t make sense to you. Pay attention to your credit report, the accounts you open and didn’t open. If your identity was compromised, it can result in someone opening a fraudulent new account in your name, spending it and throwing it away. The other thing you can do if you’re in a publicly disclosed breach is look for mail that tells you you’re involved in a breach, and an organization may or may not be required to notify you.”
Cindy Huang, an author for PBS NewsHour, shows us how we can protect ourselves from credit card fraud with a few simple tips. The best way to protect yourself from credit card fraud is to keep track of your spends and consistently check your credit card statements to make sure they’re accurate.

5. Why Americans Are so Vulnerable to Credit Card Fraud

“The issue is the continued use of magnetic stripes on the back of credit cards. Most other countries abandoned this technology long ago. They’ve switched to cards with embedded chips that generate a new code for every transaction, making cards very difficult to counterfeit. On the other hand, it’s easy to make fake magnetic stripes.”

Businessweek author Joshua Brustein delves into our current card transaction system and shows why the incidence of credit card fraud is so high. Brustein says the U.S. accounted for 47 percent of global fraud 2012. And while most countries have adopted new systems of credit card technology, the U.S. is still behind.

Hopefully these tips gave you some insight into how credit card fraud can occur and ways to avoid it. For more information on credit cards and ways to save, visit CreditGUARD’s credit management page.