Protect Your Credit Card

Protect your credit card

With almost half of all Americans with a credit card have had to deal with fraudulent charges. Although credit card theft can happen in a variety of ways, there are things to look out for to help prevent it. The following are common ways that thieves steal your credit card information and tips to prevent it. 

Dumpster Diving

This happens when your card information is stolen from discarded bills or statements and the thieves use your card to make purchases. 

Tip: Be sure to safely dispose of or shred anything that contains sensitive information. 

Hacking

This may happen when a company has their information stolen, and if you had shopped there during that time, your credit card information could be compromised. 

Tip: When shopping online, be sure to make purchases only on websites that offer secure payments.

Theft

Even though credit cards are typically safer than cash, they are still at risk of being physically stolen from you. Someone could also potentially take a photo of your card and use the information to make purchases. 

Tip: Do not lend your card to anyone and be careful about where your card information is displayed. 

Social Engineering

This happens when you are tricked to divulge your credit card information for fake products or services, typically via phone or the internet. 

Tip: Be very careful about giving your information out over the phone or online -- only do so with a representative from a trusted source when you have verified their identity. 

If you fall victim to credit card theft or fraud, notify your credit card issuer immediately and follow their instructions. Credit bureaus also offer free credit reports, credit freezes, or one year of free credit alerts if needed.