Most people make purchases through their cards. It is so convenient to use. You do not have to bring bulk of cash in order to make huge acquisitions. But we have to keep in mind that our credit cards contain valuable personal information which can be stolen and cause our nightmare.
Thieves can use the information stolen in two ways. They can open a new credit card and register it under your name, giving you the burden of paying for it while they do the shopping. Another is stealing your card and for them to use it as their own, unless you report it immediately, the thief will enjoy using it.
There are signs that a card is not legitimate. Because of this, personnel or sales clerks processing the payment should watch out for signs of fraudulent card payments. A card may be bad if the person using it can not show any other identification. A thief may not have any other identification similar to the information appearing on the credit card. Another signal is that the fraudster will not usually sign the charge slip because there is typically a specimen signature of the real owner on the back side of the card. Different signature means he is not the real owner of the card.
Fortunately, there are ways on how to protect your credit cards. One is to always keep your cards close. Do not leave it unattended in a public place. In the workplace for example, you may not know it but an identity thief may be in the next workstation. Do not leave it in your vehicle either. Because thieves will certainly find ways to get hold of it.
Always protect your Personal Identification Number or PIN and security code. Do not write this information down because the hardcopies of identification can be misplaced and may land on a culprit's hands. Secure it when you're traveling as well.
Once you made a purchase, check the card immediately when returned to you. Make sure that it is your card. You should also check the device use in accessing your card because it can be a skimming device. Credit card skimming is also becoming a worldwide problem as a method of getting hold of your personal information. The best way to avoid this is to use your card at reputable stores duly operating with full licenses and business permits.
In case a credit card is missing despite diligent efforts to find it, immediately report it. Stolen or lost cards should be blocked to prevent the thief from using it. Reporting of such cards is easier when you have a list of your card and their identification numbers filed in a secure place. Remember to list down the contact phone number or hotline of your card company too.
It is also very helpful for you to check the billing statement regularly. You will easily identify unauthorized purchases this way. If you are able to find any, report them to the company company right away. And be careful to whom you give your card number especially when on the phone. Give information only to reputable organizations. It is important that you have the right information of the person on the other line since it's your account that is at stake. One mistake and it may cause you a fortune.