Since the advent of credit cards, financial fraud has been on the rise and it could happen to anyone, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. A report by Nilson, projects credit card fraud to total $31.6 billion USD by 2020.
Credit card fraud is more common than you think but there are many simple precautions you can take to make sure you can reduce the risk of being defrauded.
Top 10 precautions to Reduce the Risk of Credit Card Fraud
Don’t discard personal documents in the trash!
If you are organizing your papers and finances and you decide to get rid of documentation that you longer need, make sure you destroy them instead of throwing them in the trash bin. When you need to discard documents that are full of personal information you should either shred them or wet them before you toss them into the bin. If you don’t destroy this documentation, anyone can get their hands on them and you’ll be at risk of credit card fraud. Protect your information both online and offline!
Your mail should be well protected
Another great way to protect your information is keeping your mail away from prying eyes! Buy a lock for your letter box or go for a P.O. Box. That way you can be sure that your mail will only go from the mailman’s hands into yours. It’s also very smart to take precautions about your mail every time you make plans to be away from home. To do this, you can put your mail on hold or ask a friend if they can collect it for you on a regular basis.
Your mail and financial statements should be for your eyes alone
If you’re one of those people who always leave their credit card statements for later and you never actually get to read them, that’s a habit you should change. What’s more, if you have someone else who reads it for you, you should consider doing it yourself. Build the habit of reading your financial statements and your mail yourself. When it comes to financial statements you should take your time and read them very carefully in case there’s any suspicious activity. Do this with all of your bank accounts to secure them with fraud protection and make sure you’re aware of all of your financial information.
Don’t neglect your credit history
In order to stay on top of your credit card information you should regularly check your credit history. You can use GetCreditScore or Veda to get a free copy of your credit history online. That way you can check it carefully and you’ll be alerted if any attempts are made to apply for credit in your name.
Be careful when it comes to online shopping
Online shopping is a huge part of our lives and we love it! Because it is such a regular and common activity you should be extremely cautious when it comes to choosing your providers. When you shop online, you’re sharing your credit card details so you have to be very careful with the stores you choose. We also recommend you to use PayPal because it provides a secure payment system and it protects your information. Furthermore, using a VPN (a private server) is very useful when using card details online, so checking out the Proton vpn and others can be very beneficial to your online safety.
Be cautious when you use the ATM
This is something we learn from our parents long before we get our first card, and it’s one of the simplest precautions, but it never hurts to be reminded. When you’re at the ATM, be aware of people around you and make a habit of covering the keypad when you enter your PIN.
Don’t lose sight of your cards
In case you didn’t know, it is possible for people to get a hold of your information with the use of contactless NFC technology such as PayWave, Tap & Go, and PayPass if they have contact with your card. When you’re out on the street make sure that you never lose sight of your cards. If you ever happen to lose them, go report it as stolen as soon as you can and take all of the necessary precautions.
Online hacking is super common, so it’s essential that you make sure your devices are well protected. Make sure that you have security software in place in order to protect your devices from the risk of viruses, hacking, and more. Remember to keep your security software updated and avoid scam e-mails like the plague! Don’t trust any links that you can’t identify and keep away from untrustworthy sites and downloads.
Never provide your credit card details over the phone
Whenever you need to make a payment or if you want to donate to charity, it’s best to do it online and use a secure payment method. One of the common methods for credit card scammers to get your information is over the phone by means of deception, and this precaution makes it more difficult to get a hold of it.
Don’t hesitate to report!
If you fear that you have been or are being scammed, make sure to report it as soon as you can. Let your financial institution know what’s going on and report it to the police as well. Take all of the necessary measures to make sure you get all the help you need to deal with this problem as quickly as you can. The longer you wait, the more money you will lose!
If you incorporate these precautions into your daily life, you’ll be cutting the risk of credit card fraud by half. Always make sure that you practice good safety habits when it comes to all of your personal information, but specially when you’re dealing with your financial information.
Nowadays there are many different ways a stranger can get a hold of enough information to impersonate you and cause quite a bit your damage to your finances. That’s why you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your information as safe as can be.