Top 5 Tips to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

by : Adam Goldman

If you are worried about credit card fraud you are well on your way to protecting yourself from being a victim. The truth is anyone can easily be a victim of fraud because of the careless ways we handle our personal information. Here are the top 5 ways you can avoid becoming a fraud victim.

Never give solicited personal information to a stranger

We always tell our children never to speak to strangers. Yet when someone calls and talks to us in a friendly way, most of us will be glad to give out any information the caller requests. In order to avoid letting your personal information be used against you, never provide vital information about yourself to anyone that you do not fully trust. In other words, do not give your social security number, your driver's license, your full address, your credit card number or any combination of the above to a stranger.

Do not share unsecured personal information over the Internet

During the early days when the Internet was young and most users were naive, junk mail was one of the easiest ways to obtain personal information from unknowing surfers. False promises of a lottery win or a special prize can easily convince surfers to part with their private information for something trifling or nothing at all. Whilst most of us have better common sense nowadays, you should still never provide any form of personal information to anyone over the Net, especially your credit card details.

Beware of Phishing sites

Phishing is a term related to websites that were made to mimic real websites (like those of online banking sites) with the sole purpose of getting information from you. A mail will be sent to you informing you of a need to access your online credit card account for certain transactions. The mail will contain a link, with a page that looks like it will connect you to your account site. In reality, this page links to a Phishing site, which functions to collect your personal information illegally. Finally, your details will be utilized by these criminals for online shopping, or even for credit card duplication purposes.

Check your monthly statements

It could be months before you discover that someone else has been using your credit card without your knowledge if you do not regularly check your monthly statements. As you know your spending patterns, you will definitely be able to sniff out something fishy when your outstanding totals jumps a grand or two. Provided that you don't have family members with uncontrollable spending needs, it is a definite way of knowing that someone has been using your card illegally.

Protect your mail

Most of us take our mail for granted. We don't usually lock our mailboxes when in fact, we should. Our mail contains much of our personal information, especially mail that comes from banks, insurance companies and credit card companies. If anyone were to steal any of your mail which contains your personal information, you would have lost your identity to these thieves even before you got your morning mail.