Credit card identity theft–could it happen to you? Millions of people have their credit compromises each year. Identity theft is a common problem that can happen when least expected. Going to grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and hotels can put customers at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Just about any situation can result in someone becoming a victim of identity theft. There are many ways that people can increase their chances of falling victim to identity theft.
What Is Credit Card Identity Theft?
Credit card identity theft is the fraudulent usage of someone else’s credit card to receive resources in someone else’s name. Cardholders can give thieves access to their credit card information without even knowing that they are doing it. Thieves can steal the personal information of cardholders and assume their identity. Many people may think that these thieves use high tech methods to steal information but they do not. Much of the information that thieve obtain comes straight from cardholders. Taking certain precautions can prevent the chances that cardholders will become a victim of identity theft.
Simple Steps You Can Take to Prevent Identity Theft
- Cardholders should pay for a credit monitoring program. Credit monitoring programs are a great way for cardholders to keep an eye on their credit activity. These programs monitor all three credit reports for any form of activity. Each time the credit is pulled, customers receive notification by e-mail, phone, or Internet to verify that they authorized the inquiry. These types of program can prevent a financial crisis since customers receive notification as soon at their credit is pulled. These programs are very inexpensive.
- Cardholders should go paperless on all of their bills. Many thieves steal personal information right from the lost or stolen mail of their victims. The personal information that they get can help the thieves steal identities very quickly. Going paperless allows cardholders to access their account information online so that their personal information remains intact.
- Keep a close eye on employees who take credit cards out of sight. Employees usually take customers’ credit cards to a separate area to charge the credit card. Cardholders should write down the employee’s name when this situation occurs in case credit card fraud occurs. Also, do not hand credit cards to cashiers at the stores. Use the swipe pad to complete the transaction. Some people have a photographic memory and may store the credit card number mentally as they type it into the cash register. Get the cashier’s name if a situation occurs that forces cardholders to hand over their card to the cashier.
- Check credit card statements as soon as they become available. Take a careful look at all transactions to make sure that they are legitimate charges. Do not overlook small charges because thieves us this method to cause further credit card damage. In some cases, thieves sell credit card information to other thieves that destroy cardholders’ credit.
- Do not disclose personal information on social media sites. Providing full birth dates, addresses, and telephone numbers can help thieves access personal information. Obtaining addresses can help thieves figure out where cardholders live, and the thieves may come to their homes and steal their mail. Only offer general information on social media site. Even with private pages, thieves may gain access to friends’ pages to steal information.
- Go to banks to obtain money instead of using ATMs. Cardholders can go to their banks to get cash instead of trusting ATMs. Thieves may use electronic devices or skimmers to get credit card information of customers who use these machines. If customers notice an extra piece of plastic sticking out of the credit card slot at an ATM machine, they should go to another machine and notify the bank so that they can investigate the situation. If an ATM takes a credit card, notify the credit card company immediately.
- Do not use wireless networks when traveling. Thieves can obtain personal information over open networks that they can use to open accounts in the names of others and destroy their credit in the process. Purchase portable Internet connection for travel purposes. Secure the network so that others cannot us the wireless network to gain personal information.
Credit card identity theft is a serious matter for millions of people. Cardholders must take extra measures to protect their credit card information and their identities to prevent credit card fraud. Thieves are everywhere, and they are ready to steal any identity that they can.