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How To Avoid Credit Card Fraud

Jun 11, 2008
As the cost of Credit Card fraud continues to rise year on year, it is perhaps a good idea to consider how you might protect yourself from such an eventuality. Credit card fraud costs the global economy billions of dollars every year and if you are unfortunate enough to be a victim, its economic and psychological effects can be devastating. The intention of this article is to highlight the key actions that you can take to either prevent credit card fraud in the first place or if it has already happened, what steps you can take to minimize the impact.

The old adage that prevention is better than cure certainly applies to credit card fraud. By following some simple advice you can prevent the fraud happening in the first place.

Let's start with the basics. Make sure that you keep your credit card secure at all times. Whilst conducting a transaction in a shop or restaurant make sure that the cashier is not out of sight whilst in the possession of your card. When withdrawing cash from the ATM make sure that no-one can see you enter the Personal Identification Number (PIN). Also, be aware that criminals have been known to fix hidden cameras to ATM machines that secretly record the PIN as it is entered. Be sure to make a quick visual check for anything usual.

Another common method of data theft and credit card fraud is through people's bank statements and receipts. Make sure that you purchase a shredder to effectively destroy any sensitive financial data prior to putting it in the trash. The information on these receipts is enough for thieves to purchase goods online or to create a replica of the credit card.

You should remember to keep the passwords that you use for online banking safe. Remember to never save the password on to your computer, even if you do not share it with other people. Perhaps the most common form of credit card fraud is through online transactions as the thief does not need to physically steal your credit card to be able to use it.

When online be sure to check that the website is secure when entering your credit card details. If you receive an email from anyone who is requesting your credit card details do not follow the link within the email. This is frequently the method used by criminals to obtain the data. Instead go to the homepage of the company and log on in the correct manner.

Perhaps one of the best ways of shopping safely online is through the use of a Paypal account. Paypal is owned by Google and so can be regarded as trustworthy and more importantly it creates a barrier between your credit card details and the website that you decide to purchase from. If despite all of this advice you are still unfortunate to become a victim of credit card fraud, there is still remedial action that you can take.

Be sure to regularly check your statement for any unusual transactions. If fraud is taking place, then you want to stop it as soon as possible. Report the fraud to the police and the credit card provider immediately. This will ensure that you do not lose any more and improves the possibility that you will get the money back.

You should also remember to get fraud protection cover. Most providers offer this service for a small monthly fee. You may not want to pay this, but if you are a victim of credit card fraud, it can be useful in ensuring that you are able to recover your losses.
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