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Every year businesses in the United States will report that credit fraud card has cost them a collective amount of more than 2,000,000 in lost business every single year. Approximately 90% of this total is a direct result of charges being made with credit card numbers that belong to cards that are counterfeited, stolen, or lost.
Business owners aren't the only ones effected by credit card fraud, in some cases individual credit card holders have an even more difficult time dealing with the fallout from credit card theft. Anytime a credit card holder falls victim to credit card theft they find their life is thrown into turmoil. When a credit card number is fraudulently used, the real owner of the card finds themselves dealing with the authorities, angry business owners, and the credit card company. In addition to having to deal with the immediate effects of credit card fraud, the credit card holder also has to worry about what kind of impact the theft of their credit card numbers is going to have on their financial and personal future.
There are several things a credit card holder can do that will help prevent having their credit card numbers from being part of a credit card fraud case. For the most part if the credit card holder uses common sense they won't have to worry about being the latest victim of credit card fraud.
1. Don't Share Your Card
When questioned about how they think their credit card number was obtained, many people admit that it could have been when they loaned their credit card to someone else. Sometimes the person the card was lent to turns out to be the fraudulent party, in most cases the only crime the person who borrowed the card committed was being careless and did something that allowed someone else a glimpse of the card's numbers. This is even more true when the person who borrowed the card is a teenager. One of the best ways to keep your credit cards to yourself is by not letting anyone else, not even your kids, use the card.
2. Be Smart While Online
The Internet provides the perfect opportunity for the people who are drawn to credit card fraud and identity theft to operate. The fraudsters are constantly looking for new ways that they can use the internet to help pad their pockets. The absolutely best way to make sure that your credit card number is never fraudulently obtained is to never purchase anything online. Since this isn't always possible there are some things you can do to help protect your credit card. The first is to never answer any email requesting your credit card information. When you do make an online purchase from a website, make sure the website is secure before entering any credit card information.
3. Don't Give Your Number to Phone Solicitors
If you get a phone call from a telephone solicitor, don't ever give them your credit card. Anyone can make a phone call and say that they are from a legitimate company. Since it is impossible to double check the validity of the person while they are on the phone, the best way to handle the situation is to ask the person to send a bill in the mail. When the bill arrives, make sure you verify that the address and company name is valid before you send any information that includes your credit card number.
4. Don't Carry Extra Credit Cards
Don't have more credit cards in your purse/wallet than you plan on using. The more credit cards you have with you, the greater chance that they will get lost and stole. While it is just as easy to lose one credit card as it is to lose 5, at least you will only have to canceling just one credit card number. The more credit cards that get lost, the greater the chance that every single one will be used in a fraudulent manner.
5. Read Your Statements
Double check your credit card statements as soon as they arrive. A clever fraudsters knows that they have a better chance of getting away with the fraud by keeping their purchases minimal. When you go through your statement, make sure you check every single item listed on the statement against receipts for the same credit card number. If any purchase doesn't match you need to contact your credit card company right away.
6. Shred Your Statements
When you are cleaning out your desk and throwing away your old receipts and credit card statements, you need to make sure everything is shredded before it gets thrown into the trash (read: Ridding Yourself of Worthless Credit Cards). Determined fraudsters will stop at nothing when it comes to obtaining new credit card numbers, and that includes going through dumpsters and trash cans.
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