Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips
Credit card fraud has become an epidemic in recent years. There are more than 2 million credit cards stolen every year. It’s estimated that credit card fraud costs consumers $16 billion annually.
If you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud, you might be wondering how you can protect yourself in the future. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to stay safe online.
What type of fraud is credit card fraud?
The most common types of credit card fraud include:
• Identity Theft – This occurs when someone uses your personal information without permission for their benefit. They may use it to open new accounts or apply for loans under your identity.
• Online Shopping Scams – These scams often involve emailing customers who have made purchases on websites like Amazon.com or eBay, asking them to make additional payments using their credit cards. The scammers then ask for payment details such as account numbers and expiration dates. If they get these details, they could steal money out of your bank account.
• Phishing Attacks – A phishing attack involves sending emails with malicious links or attachments designed to trick people into giving up sensitive data so hackers can access their financial systems.
Hackers will sometimes send fake messages purporting to come from companies like banks or retailers. When users click on those links, they enter private login credentials, which allow criminals to gain unauthorized access to their accounts.
• Social Engineering – This happens when hackers obtain confidential information by posing as legitimate employees or representatives of businesses. For example, they may call customer service centers to represent a company and request certain information about their transactions. Or they may pose as other individuals involved in the transaction and attempt to persuade others to give away valuable information.
How serious is credit card fraud?
Most cases of credit card fraud don’t result in significant losses. However, one study found that 1% of all credit card holders experienced fraudulent charges over $1,000 within six months of opening their accounts. That means that 10 percent of Americans had at least one incident of credit card fraud during this time period. And according to another report, nearly half of all victims reported losing between $500-$2,499 due to credit card theft.
How do I report credit card fraud?
You should file a police report immediately after any suspicious activity takes place. You also need to notify your issuer right away. Your issuer will investigate the situation and take appropriate action against anyone responsible for committing fraud.
In addition to reporting fraud, here are some things you can do to prevent further incidents:
• Use strong passwords – Make sure your password isn’t easy to guess. Also, avoid writing down your passwords because thieves can easily copy them off of the paper. Instead, write your passwords on sticky notes attached to your computer monitor.
• Keep track of your spending – Write down everything you spend each month before making large purchases. Then compare what was written down to what happened later.
Can credit card fraud be traced?
If someone has stolen your identity without permission, it’s possible to trace where the crime occurred.
There are laws requiring merchants to keep records of every purchase made through an electronic terminal in most states. Those records include the amount paid, the name of the person paying, and the date and location of the sale. They must retain these records for three years.
Is credit card fraud a felony?
Credit card fraud is usually considered a misdemeanor offense under state law. The maximum penalty varies depending upon whether the victim is injured financially or not. If the loss exceeds $5,000,however, then the charge becomes a felony. Felony penalties generally carry more severe punishments than misdemeanors.
Does fraud insurance cover credit cards?
Yes! Most issuers offer free coverage if you have been victimized by credit card fraud. It covers both unauthorized use and lost/stolen cards. Some policies even cover replacement costs associated with replacing damaged or missing cards.
How does fraud happen on credit cards?
Social engineering attacks involve criminals trying to get personal data such as account numbers, PINs, social security numbers, etc., by using various methods, including phone calls, emails, text messages, letters, faxes, snail mail, Internet chat rooms, and websites. These scams often work like this: A criminal pretends to be somebody else who needs access to sensitive information to verify a transaction. He might ask questions like “What type of checking account do you hold?” or he could pretend to be calling from a utility provider asking for payment details. Once the unsuspecting individual gives up his personal information, the crook uses it to commit financial crimes.
What is the most common credit card fraud?
The two major types of fraud that occur when people shop online are phishing and skimming. Phishing involves sending fraudulent email messages to steal login credentials. Skimming occurs when thieves install keystroke logging software onto computers at retailers so they can capture customers’ usernames and passwords while they enter their accounts information into checkout systems. This allows hackers to make transactions using those same credentials.
Why would I want my bank to know about my credit card usage?
Your bank may require you to provide certain information regarding your credit cards. For example, your bank may send periodic statements detailing how much money you spent during the past year, which stores you shopped at, and other vital statistics.
Do the police investigate credit card fraud?
Police departments around the country spend millions each year investigating credit card fraud cases.
When a suspect is arrested, investigators will look for evidence linking him to the crime. That includes receipts showing purchases made with stolen cards; fingerprints found on items purchased with stolen cards; documents proving ownership of the item bought with the stolen card, and physical evidence left behind after the theft. Police also examine surveillance video footage from businesses where the thief used the stolen cards.
Is there anything I can do to protect myself against credit card fraud?
There are several ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. First, never give out any confidential information over the telephone unless you initiated contact first. Be suspicious of unsolicited requests for private information. Also, avoid giving out too many personal identifying pieces of information in one place. Instead, keep them separate — perhaps in different places in your wallet or purse. Finally, don’t write down your account numbers or PINs anywhere. Keep these valuable bits of information safe inside secure wallets or purses.
If you’re a frequent shopper online, you probably already know about the growing problem of identity theft. When someone uses your personal information to make purchases, you could end up paying for those items yourself. This happens all too often with credit cards.
These are some of the ways to be protected against credit card fraud issues!