Did you know that there are several ways cybercriminals and thieves can perpetrate credit card fraud and identity theft? There is no doubt that credit cards have become increasingly popular. Federal Reserve reveals that Americans use credit cards more than forty billion times per year in order to pay bills and make purchases.
However, identity theft is one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the US. You may know that more personal and sensitive financial information is frequently exchanged online than in the past. In addition, identity theft and cyber hacks are continuing to grow.
This is why understanding how you can protect yourself – online as well as offline – is now more crucial than ever. You should always watch out for identity thieves and scammers who might trick you into providing your confidential credit card information.
Fortunately, there are many credit card identity theft protection tips to protect your account.
What is Identity Theft?
We can define identity theft as any type of scam, deception, or other crime that usually results in the loss of sensitive personal and financial data. This data can include passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, banking information, and Social Security Numbers.
Criminals use this information without your permission in order to commit fraud or other crimes. Did you know that identity theft is serious and is a federal crime?
4 Tips to Secure Your Credit Card from Identity Theft
Do Not Provide Your Credit Card Information
Refrain from providing any identification or financial information over the telephone. Please make this a habit unless you initiated the phone call or the individual calling you is from an organization you have an account with already, and that caller has specified that they are calling regarding something pertinent to your account.
Did you know that in many cases, identity thieves usually call claiming to be from a company that you trust, such as a fire department having a fundraiser, to deceive you into providing them with your confidential credit card number? Note that if you have any doubts, you can always inform the caller that you will call them back.
In addition, whenever you call the customer service of your credit card issuer, you should use the number present on the back of the credit card. Do not make the mistake of returning phone calls to a telephone number left on the answering machine.
Report Fraud and Losses
If your credit card has been stolen or lost, you should call the card issuer as soon as you can. Did you know that many organizations have toll-free numbers as well as 24-hour service in order to effectively deal with this?
You will be pleased to know that reporting the stolen or lost credit card as early as possible is important as it lowers the risk that you will pay any fraudulent fee or charges on that credit card.
According to the law, once you report the theft or loss of your card, you do not have any additional responsibility or obligation for charges that you did not make.
Shred Sensitive Documents
Rather than tossing any pre-approved credit offers, bills, ATM receipts, and other financial statements or documents in your recycling bin, you should put these documents through your paper shredder first. Keep in mind that these financial documents likely contain sensitive and personal information, and you do not want that information to fall into the wrong hands.
So, make it a habit to shred all documents and statements with your confidential information before you throw them away. Good paper shredders are inexpensive. Shred your documents in order to keep dumpster divers and other criminals from getting access to the credit card number. Note that the same is applicable to your old credit cards, which have been canceled or expired.
You can also use GuardCard to secure your credit card information from wireless tampering.
Review Your Credit Report
Did you know that reviewing and scrutinizing your recent account activity is important to credit card safety? The best thing is that reviewing your account activity is simple. For example, you can do this easily by using your bank’s application, online, or over the telephone.
While we recommend quarterly credit checks, reviewing once a month is not overkill, especially if you would like to make it your routine. You should request free credit reports in order to keep a close eye on your credit. Did you know that you are entitled to one credit report (free) yearly from each one of the three bureaus?
Most credit card issuers let you easily set up text or email alerts that inform you about any unusual activity.