Okay, so I recieved a phone call today from my bank's fraud department. I was asked a series of questions before being told that someone had access to my ATM card and had attempted to use it at Juno( an online web service) over 8 times. It was denied because of a technicality. They were using the wrong middle initial. Anyhow, I got to thinking and the more I thought, the more mad I became. I still had posession of my ATM card, so how did this happen? Someone had swiped all 16 digits off my ATM card as well as the expiration date right from under my nose. Anyhow, I thought I should share it with you because it happened so easily to me. I pulled some tips off of www.scambusters.org. I hope they will be of some use, or at least make you more aware of your actions so this doesn't happen to you.
21 Tips to protect yourself from being a victim of credit card fraud
- Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. Try not to let your credit card out of sit whenever possible.
- Be very careful to whomever you give your credit card. Don't give out your account number out over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Never give you credit card info out when you recieve a phone call. (For example, if your told there has been a 'computer problem' and the caller needs to verify information) Legitimate companies don't call you to ask for credit card info over the phone.
- Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email-and don't ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) info. These are called 'phishing' scams.
- Never provide your credit card info on a website that is not a secure site.
- Sign your credit cards as soon as you recieve them.
- Shred all credit card applications you recieve.
- Don't write your PIN number on your credit card-or have it anywhere near your credit card(in the event that your wallet gets stolen.)
- Never leave your credit card or receipts lying around.
- Shield your credit card number so that others around youcan't copy it or capture it on a cell phone or other camera.
- Keep a list in a secure place with all of your accout numbers and expiration dates, as well as the phone numbers and address of each bank that has issued you a credit card. Keep this list updated every time you get a new credit card.
- Only carry aroound credit cards that you absolutely need. Don't carry around extra credit cards that you rarely use.
- If you find any charges that you don't have a receipt for--or that you don't recognize--report these charges promptly(and in writing) to the credit card issuer.
- Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.
- Open credit card bills promptly and make sure there are no bogus charges. Treat your credit card bill like your checking account-reconcile it monthly. Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly bills.
- Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.
- Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.
- Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if there is a carbon that is used in a credit transaction, destroy it immediately.
- Never write your credit card account number in a public place (such as on a postcard or so it shows through the envelope payment window.)
- Ideally, it's a good idea to carry your credit cards seperately from your wallet--perhaps in a zippered compartment or a small pouch.
- Never lend a credit card to anyone else.
- If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of you change of address.
I hope this could help some of you. These may seem like basic tips, but fraud happens all to often!