Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a booming business and
thieves are getting away with millions of dollars
annually. A thief does not have to steal your
credit card or rifle through your trash to get
account numbers. Any time you use your credit
card you are making your account number available
to everyone who is involved in the transaction,
from the sales clerk to the billing staff of the
Stealing your information is fairly easy. Be
aware at all times and reduce the risk. Thieves
obtain your information through methods such as:
Card swapping at ATM’s
- Theft – often out of motor vehicles
or houses, purses and wallets at crowed locations
- Skimming - Skimming is a process where the
data from a card's magnetic strip is electronically
copied onto another card. This can happen in
restaurants and shops - you hand over your card
and a replica card is produced and used,
- E-mails purporting to come from the credit
card service provider (Phishing)
- Bogus Internet web sites
- Dumpster diving- make sure all mail with
credit offers, catalogues, bank information
etc. are thoroughly destroyed before you throw
them in the trash
- Fake ATM’s a new and creative con.
Use only ATM locations that you know or use
a local merchant or grocery store.
How To Help Protect Yourself From Credit
Protect yourself by being aware. Credit card
fraud comes in many forms generally through carelessness.
Take these steps to help reduce the possibility
of fraud, or theft.
- Never leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Destroy all carbons and incorrect receipts.
- Destroy expired cards.
- Never sign blank receipts.
- Keep a record of your card numbers, their
expiration dates, and the phone numbers and
addresses of each creditor, in a secure place.
- Report any questionable charges to the card
issuer promptly and in writing.
- Never give your account numbers over the
phone, unless you are initiating a transaction
with a company you know is reputable.
- Sign credit cards, in ink, as soon as they
- Save receipts to compare with your billing
- Instruct everyone who is authorized to use
your account to take the above precautions
- Shred all pre-approved credit offers and
any related mail before throwing it away
- Shred anything with your name, address, phone,
social security number or other identifying
features on it.
The electronic age is making thieves even more
creative. Watch for “Phishing” what
these thieves are doing is fishing for people
who aren’t paying attention and will give
them private financial information over the internet.
The emails look official even to logo and links
BUT DO NOT ever give your information to a link
(even one you think you know) that has come in
an e mail. Always retrieve the link from your
browser or type it in yourself. If you get e mails
from Pay Pal or EBAY and you suspect they are
phishing forward those emails to email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will investigate and
email you in return. If you bank online your bank
probably has similar security set up and generally
they will only send messages from inside your
account when you are signed on.
If your credit card is lost or stolen, contact
your bank or issuing institution immediately.
The most you will have to pay for unauthorized
charges is $50 on each account. But this can add
up if several cards are lost or stolen at the
If you find unauthorized charges on your statement,
simply contact your card company and set a dispute
in action. The Fair Credit Billing Act, an addition
to the Truth-in-Lending law, makes sure that you
have the right. You must notify them before 60
days and they must investigate and give you the