Now that the craziness of the holiday season and gift exchanges is behind us, people are probably ready to keep spending to a minimum—at least for the immediate foreseeable future. Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to save a little bit more.
Regardless of how much you’re planning on spending these next few months, it’s still important that you keep your financial information safe, and that includes protecting your credit card from anyone who might be trying to use it without authorization.
A few simple tips and precautions you can take to protect yourself from credit card fraud:
- Sign New Credit Cards Immediately. Signing your card as soon as it arrives in the mail in blue or black ink takes just a few seconds, but will save you a bunch of hassle down the road. With your signature on the card, it’s harder for a fraudster to erase or cover your signature or to forge it.
- Carry Your Card Separate from Your Cash. Most people keep their card and cash together in their wallet. However, if your wallet is stolen, your card will also be stolen. And if someone steals your wallet, chances are that they’ll use your card. Keeping your card in a safe place that’s separate from your wallet will help prevent your card from getting in the wrong hands.
- Don’t Leave Blank Spaces on Receipts. If there’s something that you don’t intend to fill out, put a line through it to ensure that no one can try to fill it in on your behalf.
- Save Receipts. When you get your credit card statement each month, cross-check the transactions with your receipts. If there are any transactions that you do not recognize, this could be indicative of fraud.
- Never Write Down Your Credit Card Number. This type of information could get in the wrong hands. Never share your credit card information with anyone or leave your credit card hanging around anywhere. If you’re making purchases online, clear your browsing history and make sure that your browser does not save your credit card information.
Should you find yourself in a case of identity theft or if your financial information has been otherwise compromised, Forletta’s Pittsburgh- and Cleveland-based private investigators can help. Contact us for a free consultation.
Miller, Alex. (2016). How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud (2016). Upgraded Points.