Current Credit Card Scams – The Top 5 Ways to Avoid Them
Are you nervous about all of the current credit card scams being reported in the news? Ever receive a call from your credit card company about fraudulent charges or noticed unidentified charges on your account? It’s a scary deal but even scarier is the fact that there are many schemes nowadays that let thieves steal your money without grabbing the card.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported how the first half of 2017 held the most number of data breaches for any half-year period.
If that’s not alarming enough, the ITRC predicted these breaches will increase by almost 40%. This is no trivial matter.
Credit card use and misuse reflect in your credit score. A low score means it’ll be significantly more expensive to take out loans. If your score is low enough, you can expect an outright rejection when applying for loans.
Hold on, don’t cancel your card! You can protect yourself from many of the current credit card scams out there very effectively.
Read on to discover 5 examples of credit card fraud, so you can keep the grubby hands of thieves away.
#5. A Shredder Is Your Friend
Credit card scams and fraudulent bank information account for 86% of all identity theft in the United States. And even if smartphones and the Internet are universal, not all stolen card data derive the digital way.
What do you we mean by this?
Dumpster-diving leads identity crooks to credit card numbers and other sensitive information. These also include your social security number and medical history.
Think twice before you throw anything containing private information in the trash. This is where a shredder can act like the most worthy bodyguard for you and your personal data.
Credit card bills usually contain your entire card number. Before tossing the hated bill with the rest of the trash, run it through a shredder. Do the same to old and expired cards, as well as any document containing personal information.
To take your safety up a notch, place the shredded paper in varying trash bags. This way, it’ll be more difficult for the crooks to put the shredded pieces back together.
The tenacity of some scammers will surprise you. Don’t even think of underestimating what they’re willing to do to get your data.
#4. Be Aware of Skimming
Have you heard of credit card scams via skimming? This type of scam is one of the most common credit card frauds. Crooks steal credit card data during a seemingly regular transaction.
They extract your card number and use the data. They can then create a physical copy of your card.
Another way skimmers manipulate stolen data is by using it for transactions that don’t require a physical copy of the card. Online shopping is a perfect example.
Skimming victims might become such when they hand their card to an unscrupulous waiter. Another popular method involves a skimming device, wherein thieves attach the device to payment terminals. Stealing credit card info at gas pumps and ATMs are popular choices.
One way to protect yourself is by upgrading to an EMV card. Rather than swiping the magnetic strip of the typical card, EMV chip cards dip into a slot.
And how exactly does this make the transactions safer? EMV cards come with a tiny computer chip, and this produces a unique code for every transaction. The code works only once and it’s a great way to prevent credit card skimming.
This is bad news for hackers. Should someone get access to this unique code and attempt to shop with it, the system will decline the transaction.
Now, don’t assume this is a guaranteed way to fight current credit card scams. Many retailers have yet to install an EMV-enabled terminal. Moreover, online transactions continue to be just as risky including stealing credit card info wirelessly.
Despite this, no matter how imperfect, the added security from EMV cards makes it worth your while to upgrade.
#3. Beware of Phishing Season
Phishing scams have been around for ages. Unfortunately, they continue to be one of the most effective and dangerous credit card scams.
Phishing involves fooling people into providing their personal data, such as credit card numbers and passwords. It can happen online, by phone, text messaging and even old-fashioned snail mail.
The crooks will typically attempt to trick consumers into thinking a trusted entity is asking for personal data. For example, they may create a fake website that looks exactly like your bank’s site. Phishing attacks of this nature are one of the most widespread internet credit card frauds.
You can avoid phishers by being very cautious when asked for personal data. Never provide your card number via email, no matter how authentic the email appears to be. This also goes for phone calls, text messages and printed letters.
#2. Report Credit Card Scams Immediately
Lost your wallet or credit card? Immediate action to prevent credit card theft will save you from a million headaches.
The faster you report a lost card, the quicker the card will get canceled. A canceled card will immediately get rejected when someone attempts to use it.
We know this, the crooks know this. You can then expect a card thief to use your data as soon as possible before the card issuer cancels it. Don’t waste a second and immediately report the loss or theft.
Reporting the mishap swiftly will protect you from having to shell out money for any criminal transactions. Fighting dubious charges on your credit card will also eat up plenty of precious time.
And, if you’re worried you might have simply misplaced the card, think of the best and worst-case scenario. The worst thing that can happen if you cancel a misplaced card is you’ll have to get a new card – a very easy task.
But should you fail to report in a timely fashion and someone goes to town with your card, the consequences can be very expensive.
#1. Review Credit Card Bills
Make it a habit to review your credit card bills as they come. The reason? An unauthorized transaction is a first and most guaranteed proof you’ve become a victim of one of the many current credit card scams out there.
Even if the charge is minuscule, report the questionable charge without delay. This way you can avoid facing a more expensive fraud.
Protect Your Identity and Score
Worried about some of the most high profile current credit card scams or simply want to protect your financial identity? A healthy financial status is tantamount to a high-quality life. If you want to learn more about protecting your identity, improving your credit score and other personal finance topics, we have the perfect and free information for you.
Whether you’re just about to embark on a new life with better financial habits, or you’re seeking to improve what you already know about personal finance, we have articles for you.
Feel free to contact us about personal finance. We’d love to hear from you and help you fight credit card fraud.
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