Have you swiped your credit or debit card at least once this month? Did you complete an online purchase using Wi-Fi? During the heavy shopping season you’re going to want to protect your plastics and fight fraud as much as you can. Here’s some essential tips to use in order to prevent debit and credit card fraud:
Practice Basic Card Security
There are a few things you can do to practice basic credit & debit card security. Make sure you’ve checked off the following:
- Signed the back of card
- Create a secure pin that’s not related to you (birthdates, social, etc.)
- Secure log in information and keep it a secret
- Update personal information
- Keep your cards in a safe and protected place
Protect Your Card Number
Protecting your card number is important. If fraudsters gain access to your information, you can be at a higher risk of experiencing fraud. Gaining access to your card number also opens doors to accessing more personal information. To prevent card fraud try this:
- Don’t give card information over the phone, unless it’s an institution you trust and initiate contact with first.
- Never answer emails asking for card numbers or information about yourself, regardless of the sender. This is a common trick for fraudsters.
- Shred documents with personal and account information if disposing.
Making purchases online has never been easier. Practice online safety by only making purchases from established businesses that are easy to contact if there’s any issue. Look for sites with “https” in their web address as the “s,” stands for secured. Most of all make sure to secure your devices and networks before shopping or banking online. This includes the use of firewalls, updating your operating system as needed and installing security software.
Stay On Top of Your Account
Check your credit and debit accounts daily to keep track of not only your purchases, but the activity. If any fraud is suspected it’s better to take care of it as soon as possible. Using apps such as CardValet can help you to control and monitor activity anytime/anywhere.
Report Unusual Activity Right Away
If your card was lost or stolen call the issuer right away to have the card canceled and a new one issued immediately. Also review the purchases to make sure no fraudulent charges were made. If you see suspected fraud on an account don’t wait to see what happens, put in a claim with your fraud department to have the issue resolved.
Don’t fall victim to fraud during this shopping season. Protect your cards and enjoy the best parts about having them like earning rewards or no intro periods!