How To Avoid Credit Card Scams

May 24, 2010

It seems like today everyone wants to separate you from your hard-earned money. One way that they attempt to do that is through credit card scams. Here is some advice to avoid becoming a victim of a credit card scam.

Credit cards are an easy way to pay for items and also to build up your credit. Banks issue debit cards with Visa and MasterCard logos so that you can make purchases directly from your checking account at stores and online. But with this convenience comes a level of responsibility – the most important thing you can do is always be aware of where your credit cards are.

Scammers are always looking for new ways to acquire access to your credit card accounts. They will use tactics you never dreamed of to take your information. And, they will do it without your knowledge, which creates more trouble for you when it comes time to clean the situation up.

Try these tips to help you become more aware of your personal surroundings when you use your credit cards.

  • Know where your cards are at all times – It’s easy to think that you put your credit card back in your purse or wallet after a purchase. Shopping during holidays when it’s hectic poses the biggest threat to losing your credit card. In the midst of shopping bags and receipts, you could have your card stolen and never know it. Thinking it misplaced, you may not look for days. By that time, a thief has had time to start spending your money. Call you credit card issuer immediately if you cannot find your credit card.
  • Fill out credit card slips completely – Have you ever just signed a credit receipt at a restaurant? Someone else can fill it in and you will be charged more money. If you are leaving the tip on the table, draw a line through the tip line on the receipt and write the actual amount of the bill on the “total amount” line. Keep your copy to compare to your credit card statement at the end of the month.
  • Examine your card when you get it back – When you give your credit card to a waitress or store clerk and they turn to run it, this gives them ample time to do a “bait and switch” on your card. Look to be sure that you receive your card back and not a fake.
  • Don’t give out credit card information over the phone – If you are called and asked about a bill payment, ask for a website address or the address of the nearest store. Better yet, tell them to expect your payment in a few days in the mail if they ask for a credit card number. Scammers always try to get people to give out financial information under the guise of representing a valid company. You can always call the credit card issuer directly using the telephone number on the back of your credit card.
  • Credit card scammers are everywhere. Refuse to fall victim by protecting your credit card. Use the above tips to help keep your finances safe.

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