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Protect Credit Card Numbers At All Costs

Dec 13, 2007
Owning a credit card is a true benefit for most individuals. Credit cards allow people to purchase items, both large and small, without the need to pay with cash. Credit cards also allow consumers to purchase expensive items that may not be affordable without the ability to pay gradually.

Credit cards do have many positive aspects. Not only have they helped advance the economy, but they have also improved ability for people to buy things they want and need. However, there is a certain amount of responsibility that credit card owners must accept so that they do not get into credit card trouble. The most obvious responsibility of a credit card owner is to make sure to not accumulate too much credit card debt. Yet, it is also extremely important to make sure to keep credit card numbers safe and secure.

Most people who watch television news or read local or national newspapers on a regular basis have heard about increased incidences of credit card number theft. This is a huge problem which is becoming more and more prevalent as people are increasing the frequency they use credit cards both in person an electronically over the Internet.

Following are some easy ways to help protect personal credit card numbers. Most of these tips are based on common sense, but they are all important to re-emphasize again and again.

Sign It

Many people receive new credit cards in the mail and without signing them, stick them in their wallets. This is not a good idea. If those wallets are stolen or lost, anybody can take the credit cards and forge signatures on them, making it very easy to use the credit cards before they are reported lost or stolen.

Don't Give Numbers to Strangers

It seems so obvious that it's not a good idea to give credit card numbers to complete strangers, but individuals do it all the time. When a solicitor calls on the telephone offering to sell something or asking for a donation, there are many unsuspecting individuals who willingly give their credit card information to the caller, not truly knowing who is on the other end of the phone. A good rule of thumb is to only use credit cards over the phone when the credit card holder initiates the call.

Get the Right Card Back

It's extremely common for a waiter in a restaurant to handle several credit cards at any given time, and to accidentally return the wrong credit card with a receipt to the incorrect person. Unfortunately in restaurants, many people do not take a few seconds to check and make sure they've put their own credit card into their wallet, and then they discover the mistake hours or even days later.

Shred Receipts and Statements

It has been increasingly uncommon for receipts from credit card purchases to show an entire credit card number. However, some still do and these receipts can cause potential problems for credit card holders. In addition to receipts, credit card statements normally do include entire account numbers, which can make it easy for potential credit card number thieves to obtain information. Knowing this, it's important to shred all paper (receipts, account statements, and any other document containing credit card information) prior to throwing it in the trash can.

Check Statements Carefully

Some people's credit card numbers have unknowingly been stolen from them, and the only way they find out is by carefully checking monthly credit card statements for unauthorized charges. Anyone who does not check credit card statements with a fine tooth comb every month may be paying for charges they never made. While this practice is not exactly a tactic for avoiding credit card number theft, it is a good idea on how to stop it if it does occur.

It's is the responsibility of credit card owners to do everything possible to ensure that their credit card numbers remain protected and private. This can usually be accomplished by following good common sense and adhering to simple tips on how to keep credit card information concealed as carefully as possible.
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