Avoid credit card fraud
A little known fraud tactic is one involving prepaid debit cards. Prepaid cards allow users to reload funds through the web, their phone or through a customer representative. A card-not-present transaction is acceptable if the bank representative agrees to provide authorization for the amount requested. Several procedures have been put in place to prevent a security breach but there still exists a common threat to the electronic medium.
The Validation Process
Validation processes are meant to ensure only the user makes certain transactions but in a brick and mortar location, there is always a chance of someone copying your card details. One of the many ways fraudsters gather information is when people use their cards and forget their credit card receipt. It is worse if you have signed the receipt because then someone could easily copy your signature and this is what commonly leads to identity theft.
In most cases, identity thieves will try to get your mailing address on the Internet or on a phone book. With this information, it would not be difficult for an unscrupulous person to start making purchases using your card, either by phone of through the web.
Another scenario that can lead to credit card fraud is when the wrong person receives your preapproved credit card offers.
If they get this information from your mail box or trash can, then they can apply with a change of address. You would not know about it until the credit card company comes after you demanding you pay for the purchases you have made.
Private information such as your full name and social security number should be kept secret because fraudsters can use it to access your bank account, get loans, insurance, buy cars, etc: all in your name.
If you are like most people who throw away their pay stubs after recording the amount in a checkbook, then you risk giving criminals valuable information that can be used in identity theft.
That little piece of paper contains this information:
- Full name
- Social security number
- Bank account number — for direct deposit
- Employer and address
- Rate of pay
Now, when you want a credit card, to lease a car or to take out a loan, this is the information that will be required, among other details. Fraudsters only need this to infiltrate your finances.
You can take measures to prevent anyone from stealing your personal information lest it be used to make purchases on your card or worse, to take out a mortgage.
Here are the safety tips:
- Do not share your credit card information with anyone
- Shield the keypad whenever you key in personal information
- Always keep an eye on your card to prevent double swiping or skimming
- Check your statements regularly
- Shred your cards when you are done with hem
- Remember your card number and who to contact if you suspect theft
- File a report with the police if you are a victim of credit card fraud
American Express, MasterCard and Visa have set in place a number of consumer protection policies that could be of use to you if you are ever a victim of identity theft.