How to Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud
- Be careful when giving out your personal information on websites or over the phone.
- Checking your online credit card statements periodically can make it easier to keep track of your transactions.
- If you think you have been a victim of credit card fraud, call your credit card company immediately to report the issue.
In 2020, nearly 400,000 people were victims of credit card fraud. Credit card fraud poses a large issue as fraudsters control people’s credit cards and the ability to destroy their credit score, which can ultimately negatively affect their financial situation. If you have a credit card, then it’s a must to actively protect yourself from credit card fraud.
Below you will find more information about how credit card fraud works, how to know if it’s happening to you, and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your money.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud is when someone gains access to your credit card information and uses your credit card to make fraudulent purchases. Although your name is stated on the credit card, fraudsters can make purchases online or in-store (if a cashier doesn’t check their ID to match the name with the credit card). Whether your credit card was lost or stolen, it’s important to call your credit card company to deactivate your card as soon as possible.
If you don’t act fast on protecting yourself from fraud, then you will be stuck with two options: paying the bill or letting your credit score deteriorate.
How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud
Check your credit card statements
You should always check your credit card statements to ensure you were the one making the purchases. Most credit card companies have mobile apps to check your statements online to make reviewing your statements convenient. Your statements will verify any purchases you have or have not made. Checking your statements will also allow you to stay on top of your own purchases.
Add an extra layer of protection to your account
When you add an extra layer of protection to your account you are going the extra mile to ensure you do not become a victim of credit card fraud. Those extra layers of protection can include:
- Receiving text message alerts for each transaction made on your credit card.
- Receiving a phone call from your credit card company if your credit card was used fraudulently.
- Adding extra security when checking your information online or over the phone.
All of these security measures are helpful to prevent any suspicious or fraudulent activity with your account and personal information.
Use secure websites
If you wish to partake in online purchases, make sure the website has a secure checkout section and is reputable. For example, suppose you purchase items using your credit card on a shady website. In that case, the website users can obtain your credit card information to make fraudulent purchases.
Before adding any of your credit card numbers to make an online purchase, you must take the time to identify an unsafe website. When browsing the internet, you can protect yourself by using these two methods:
- Making sure the lock icon is at the top left of your web browser. This will let website visitors know that you are using a secure website.
- Make sure “HTTPS” is within the website URL. The “S” at the end of “HTTPS” means that it is more secure than a website URL with only “HTTP.”
What to do if you are a Victim of Credit Card Fraud
Call Your Credit Card Company Immediately
Get in contact with your credit card company and freeze your credit card. This is the quickest way to protect yourself from credit card fraud as the credit card thief cannot use your credit card information anymore. Once that is dealt with, the credit card company will then issue you a new card, which once you activate it, the card will be ready to use.
Credit card fraud is a scary experience and can have irreversible financial consequences if the matter isn’t resolved as quickly as possible. However, it’s important to educate yourself on how to notice credit card fraud and how to deal with it as quickly as possible.
What are some other ways you can protect yourself from credit card fraud? Let us know in the comments below.