When it comes to having a credit card, we harp a lot on spending discipline. While that is arguably the most important lesson for cardholders, fraud is an unfortunate reality we need to come to terms with. While there is no way to guarantee your money is safe, there are many ways to bolster your security. Saving is great, but it doesn’t do much good if a stranger runs up your debt. So, to better equip you for times like these, here are some must-have tips to avoid credit card fraud.
Check Your Statements Weekly
As much as the monthly look-see is helpful, it is hard to remember every transaction in that timeframe. Checking weekly will ensure that you catch things in a timely manner, allowing you to cancel your card sooner. You never want to end up losing thousands of dollars because you didn’t open your banking app soon enough, so don’t get caught slipping on this. Keep your eye on your statements at least every week, though every time you use it is an even better standard to uphold.
Call the Issuer
Get used to calling your credit card issuer. If you want to avoid credit card fraud, you need to be comfortable asking questions about your statement. If it is something that does end up being you, you didn’t waste your time calling. The peace of mind you get knowing for certain that you are secure is much more important than the 5-10 minutes it will take you to ensure it. When it comes to fraud, time is imperative. Knowing doesn’t help if you don’t act, and act fast.
Be Stingy With Your Card Information
When it comes to retailers that you haven’t dealt with before, maybe hold back on the card info. Do everything you can to vet places that you are trusting with this information, especially with online retailers. If you can’t find a legitimate reputation that you can trust, you probably shouldn’t be trusting them with your credit card number. So, if it’s not a popular or storied retailer, do your research and be responsible to avoid credit card fraud.
Keep the Credit Card out of Your Wallet/Purse
Credit cards are typically for very specific uses, and you don’t need to always have them on you. When you leave the house, decide whether you are going to need your credit card or not. If you don’t, leave it at home. This will ensure that if your wallet is lost or stolen, you manage the damage that can be done. It also decreases the number of cards you need to cancel when you eventually find out.
Refer to the FTC
What we have given you here are the basics, but there are resources that go in-depth on credit card fraud. The FTC’s website has tons of tips on how to avoid credit card fraud, and what to do when it happens. So, if you still need some extra information, refer to the proper authorities for updated information on keeping your money safe.