Thursday, August 19, 2010

Protecting yourself against credit card scams

As credit cards become more accessible to everyone these days (even my 11-year old sister has one), so has the occurrence of credit card scams. But we aren’t left entirely helpless. I came across a certain website giving out tips to protect people from identity theft and credit card fraud.

1. When applying for credit cards, do it personally at the bank. While it may be more convenient when the companies approach you in the malls or call you at home, it is more secure to go to the bank itself.

2. Avoid giving out personal information in public carelessly. We may not be aware that we do this, but filling up raffle coupons, promotions, filling out surveys allow others access to them instantly. Give out the least information as possible. Banks do not require that you give all of those information; oftentimes, they only need a couple of them for security.

3. Dispose of your old receipts and financial records properly. Shred them first or at least mark out your credit card numbers and other information before throwing them out. It might take a bit more effort and seem OA, but taking these types of precautions when it comes to your finances can never hurt.

4. Check your statement of accounts regularly as well as keep the receipts of your credit card purchases. This allows you to verify the purchases made on your credit card.

5. Avoid using your credit card in stores where you cannot see the person who is processing your card. This may be a way for them to steal data, allowing them access to your credit card.

6. Try allotting a separate credit card for online purchases, particularly one that has a lower credit limit. This helps track your purchases online.

7. If you received an email that asks you to update your account by logging on to a website, it’s a phishing email and you should never click it or log on to the website. Banks never ask for these types of information via email.

While all of these may be cumbersome that what one we are used to doing, making them your habit can help save you in the long run.

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