Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud
According to Experian, credit card fraud is the most common type of identity theft. Armed with your credit card number (or the card itself), a fraudster can rack up thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases, which can leave you with a hefty bill to pay. Trying to clean up identity theft is complicated, and there is no guarantee that your credit card company won’t still require that you pay back the unauthorized purchases. The best step is to try to minimize the risks of identity theft in the first place.
To protect your credit cards—and your financial well-being—we offer the following tips.
Someone who picks your card can quickly turn around and start using it to buy products in a store or online. Here are ways to physically protect your card when you are out in public:
- Put your wallet in your front pocket. At least you will be able to see if someone tries to pick it.
- Use a thinner wallet. This will stand out more. You can always put your credit card alone in a shirt front pocket, which will be hard to see.
- Wear clothes that have zippers or buttons on the pocket. It is much harder to get into a pocket when it is buttoned or zipped, and many thieves won’t even try.
Protect Your Card from Skimmers
A skimmer is a device that steals credit card information. Some of them are attached to payment terminals or ATMs. Some disreputable restaurant workers will also use a device to skim credit card information when they take your card to the register to charge you for your meal.
As the Motley Fool states, it’s hard to identify skimmers, but one thing they recommend is that you go inside to pay for gas. Don’t pay at the pump. At a restaurant, you can walk your credit card up to pay in person.
Set Up Account Alerts
The best way to protect your card is to set up an alert with the card issuer. Each issuer has its own process and own alert system. However, most will notify you of a transaction if it is above a certain amount, such as $200. They will also notify you if a purchase is made in an unusual geographic area. For example, you might live in Florida but your card was used in New Mexico to make purchases.
The alert should be sent by email or text, and your card issuer will ask whether you authorized the transaction. If you didn’t, then they will freeze your account and investigate whether your card was stolen.
If you don’t want to set up an alert, you can still look at your account each day online to see if there were any purchases you didn’t authorize. However, this is much more time consuming and many people would prefer an alert system.
Speak with a Plantation Bankruptcy Attorney
Identity theft can cause serious financial problems, and sometimes the only option is to file for bankruptcy. If you would like more information, please contact Nowack & Olson today. One of our Plantation bankruptcy lawyers will be in touch to talk about your situation. You can schedule a meeting by calling 888-813-4737.