What You Can Do To Protect Yourself From Credit Fraud

Protect Yourself From Credit Fraud

Credit Fraud and Identity Theft Risks

Anyone who has a social security number or a credit card is subject to theft of personal details and credit card fraud. Criminals may steal your credit card through a variety of innovative means to make purchases online or in person. 

They may steal your personal details to open accounts in your name while enjoying the short lived benefits this has to offer. It is however seldom that your entire identity will be hijacked by this criminal element. 

Although more often an inconvenience than a major risk, credit card fraud is a reality.

Luckily you do have the power to minimize the risk of credit card fraud by taking certain precautions to protect yourself.

Select Financial Institutions Who Offer Protection Services

When selecting a credit card company be sure to inquire as to whether they offer some protection against credit card fraud.

Many companies provide the free service of monitoring your card usage.  Should a purchase occur that is out of character according to their records, you will be notified.

This provides you with the opportunity to either ignore the mobile message or contact your bank.  An example of this may be an online purchase in Australia while you are in America.

Contact your Credit Union to protect yourself from credit fraud immediately to reverse the purchase.

This will usually result in the inconvenience of having your card stopped and waiting for a new one but it is a small price to pay.

Insurance Products Available to Guard Against Theft

There are several insurance products you can purchase to cover you in the event of credit card fraud.  Often identity theft and credit fraud are committed simultaneously so it may be to your advantage to investigate both these options.

These protective measures may include fraud alerts or credit freezes with credit bureaus.

Such alerts will help minimize or prevent criminal activity in its tracks. Enquire as to the free and paid services offered by your bank or private companies to help protect you.

You may find that the following free activities will be sufficient protection however.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Credit Fraud

The short time and effort required to conduct these tasks may save you a lot of money and inconvenience.

Check your bank and credit card statements every month to ensure that no unauthorized payments or unusual payments are being deducted. You are allowed one free credit report from credit bureaus annually.

Shred any documentation that contains personal or credit information regularly.

Verify your physical, postal and e-mail addresses with your post office and banking institutions at least once a year.

When shopping online make sure to clear your browsing history when finished.

Change your passwords monthly and make payment with your credit card rather than debit card as the former provides better protection. Do not fall prey to phishing scams via e-mail that mimic banks as this is simply a means of stealing your details.

Never share your credit card PIN number with anyone.

Follow these simple rules to protect yourself free of charge before considering any paid options and you have accomplished as much as you can to protect yourself.