The number of reported instances of credit card fraud have increased dramatically over the past decade as criminals have created ever more inventive ways to illegally gain access to the credit card accounts of unsuspecting consumers. Fortunately, there are actions that you can take that will reduce your risk of becoming a victim of credit card fraud. These actions only take a few minutes of your time and require very little effort. Here are some of the best ways to reduce your risk of credit card fraud.
Review And Shred Your Credit Card Statements
One of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of credit card fraud is to shred your credit card statements after you have reviewed them each month. Reviewing each of your credit card statements when they arrive will alert you to any fraudulent charges that have been made soon after they hit the account. Credit card statements should be shredded instead of thrown away because they usually contain your complete credit card number, address and other identifying information that a thief could use to make purchases.
Only Carry The Credit Cards You Need
Some people make the mistake of carrying all of their credit cards with them at all times. If their wallet is ever stolen, they lose all of their credit cards and the thieves gain access to all of their accounts. You should only carry an all-purpose, general credit card in your wallet at all times and only carry the others when you have an actual need for the credit card. Credit cards with inactive accounts should be stored in a safe place.
Be Careful How You Share Information
By being cautious about how you share your personal and credit card information, you can significantly reduce your chances of being a victim of credit card fraud. Most companies accept credit card information online through secure websites, so there is little reason to give your credit card number out over the phone anymore. You should never share credit card information with anybody who initiates a call as a way to “verify” your account or identity. On websites, type the url of the company directly into the search bar to ensure that you are giving your information to the right company, not an imposter. You should be careful about doing finance related tasks when using an open wireless network because hackers can easily intercept sensitive information from your online activities.