Your Credit Cards May Be at Risk - Few Tips to Prevent Credit Card Theft and Fraud

by Bernard Pragides - Date: 2007-04-13 - Word Count: 479 Share This!

More and more people are using credit and debit cards when they go shopping. It is convenient to just swipe your card at the checkout. Most of the stores are encouraging the use of debit and credit cards by using electronic payment systems. This means that if you write a check at the checkout, the store will scan your check and give it back to you just like you were using a debit card. Most people will rather use their card than waste a check. This practice is becoming very profitable for credit card thieves. This article will give you information on how to protect yourself from credit card theft.

The first and most important thing is, if your cards have been lost or stolen, report it immediately. Call the card companies and have your accounts canceled right away. This may limit the damage that the credit card thief can do. Know where your cards are at all times. Never carry more cards than what you will use when you go shopping.

Be very wary of giving your account numbers over the phone. It is a good idea to never do it over a cell phone since the conversation can be easily listened to by using everyday electronic items. Never write your account numbers on the outside of an envelope or postcard. Never sign a blank credit or debit slip and always draw a line through any blank spaces on the debit slip so that the total amount cannot be changed.

Check your monthly statements thoroughly for any purchases that you did not make. Never throw away monthly statements without shredding them first. Always cut up old credit cards by cutting through the account numbers before throwing them away. Shred charge sheets or receipts that you get from the store.

Be aware of your surrounding when using your credit card or getting money from the ATM. Thieves are very sneaky and can use tiny cameras to take pictures of your credit card when you are swiping it. They can also be very crafty at getting your PIN number when you use the ATM. Use your body to shield any clear view of the keypad. Keep the account numbers covered with your hand as much as possible when removing it from your purse or wallet. Always take your receipts with you. If you notice someone getting to close to you at the ATM, turn around and leave. If you think someone is getting too close in the checkout line, alert the store manager. These may seem like drastic measures but you can never be too careful.

Never carry your card and your PIN number together. Memorize your PIN and always keep your purse secure against your body. If you take these steps, you can minimize the risks of your credit card being stolen. It is up to you to protect yourself from credit card theft.

Related Tags: identity theft, identity theft protection, credit card fraud, internet scams

Author and internet entrepreneur Bernard Pragides offers expert advice and tips regarding identity theft. Learn more about identity theft and fraud by visiting his blog at and his website for more helpful information.

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