Tuesday, December 27, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
It’s not always possible to prevent credit or charge card fraud from happening. But there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for a scum to capture your card or card numbers and minimize the possibility. Mind you nothing in this regard is fool-proof. You can only minimize the financial damage.
When you receive new card
- Sign the new card as soon as you receive it. Better yet, instead of signing it write See ID.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
- Federal Trade Commission advises to carry your cards separate from your wallet.
During credit transaction
- Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
- Void incorrect receipts.
- Destroy carbons if any.
- Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
When you receive the bill
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
- Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
Change of address
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
Follow these steps vigorously
- Don’t lend your card(s) to anyone.
- Don’t leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Don’t sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Don’t write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
- Don’t give out your account number over the phone unless you are making the call to a company you know is reputable.
- If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
In a Nutshell
Statistics show that credit and charge card fraud cost cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. While theft is the most obvious form of fraud, it can occur in other ways as well. For example, someone may use your card number without your knowledge. So just be extra careful and follow the above guidelines.