Credit card scams & Common methods to prevent identity theft
There are lots of credit card frauds. Given that there are around 1.5 billion credit cards in circulation worldwide, it shouldn’t be surprising that millions of individuals fall prey to credit card scams every year.
Common Credit Card Fraud
A Credit Card is simply money being distributed. And where there is money, con artists seek to steal it via devious means.
Laws are in place to protect people from unfair activities by reputable banks and credit card firms. Still, they do not cover the numerous methods criminals employ to steal or compromise victims’ credit cards, credit card histories, and other personal information.
The most common deceptive techniques include:
- Stealing a credit card or using an account’s data without authorization.
- Identity fraud: Fraudsters utilize fraudulent or stolen documents to open an account in someone else’s name or take over an already-existing account.
- Credit card data theft during authorized transactions. Skimming occurs most frequently in retail establishments, ATMs, gas stations, restaurants, bars, and call centers.
- Computer programmers create a series of credit card numbers, then test them online to discover which ones are associated with legitimate accounts. This procedure is known as “carding.”
Identity theft vs. credit card fraud
It’s important to distinguish between identity theft and Credit card fraud.
Size and Scope: A few additional charges on your account due to stolen information could constitute credit card fraud. Identity theft is far more widespread, typically involving various pieces of information (address, social security number, birth date, etc.) that enable crooks to impersonate you.
Financial Liability: In most cases, credit card issuers won’t hold you responsible for charges if the information is stolen. However, it’s considerably more challenging to seek complete compensation for all potential damage because identity theft permeates many industries (banking, telephone companies, government data, insurance firms). In addition, the procedure might go on for years.
Potential Impact —
One can use the information from the stolen account to conduct credit card theft. However, because thieves might use your identity to open phony financial accounts or incur debt in your name, identity theft has serious consequences.
Ease of Correction —
Contacting the card issuer usually resolves the Credit card scam within a few days. It is possible to cancel unauthorized charges. Cards are revocable. Theft of identity is not at all simple. Before the problem is fixed, you’ll probably have to deal with banks, insurance providers, debt collectors, and perhaps police enforcement for months or even years.
More Precautions for Credit Card Scams
If you’re wondering how to avoid Credit card scammers, there are a few good practices to follow and warning flags to beware of.
Keep Credit Cards and Card Information Safe from Thieves — you must store your cards securely. Always keep them near your body in a wallet or pocketbook to prevent theft. A smaller bag in high-traffic locations is preferable since it presents a lesser target.
Consider leaving the other cards home if you only plan to use one or two credit/debit cards that day. Keep your cards and cash separate at all times (most people don’t). Your cards will also be stolen if your wallet is.
Never show your card more than is required. Remember that thieves may use a camera or a mobile device to photograph your credit card. So put the card away right after the purchase has been made. Also, always ensure the credit card is in your possession before leaving a restaurant or store.
Always be aware of where your credit card is and never lend it to anyone.
The whole card number might be printed on your credit card billing statements. Therefore it’s a good idea to shred them as well. You can put the shredded pieces in various garbage bags for an additional layer of security (yes, some eager thieves try to piece together shredded pages).
Check Statements and Receipts Closely — Unauthorized charges are typically the initial indicator of credit card fraud. No matter how minor, notify your credit card company immediately if you discover a charge you didn’t make. If the account should be closed and a new account number requested.
As you would with a bank account, carefully review your credit card statement after you receive it to balance the charges.
Never sign a credit card receipt without first checking the amount on it. Before signing, fill any empty spots with $0 or make a line through them. Always keep your tickets safe by keeping them all together.
Be Careful When Giving Out Card Information — You must always remain vigilant.
Only provide your credit card number on calls you initiate. Use only the phone number on the back of the credit card when contacting the credit card company’s customer service. Never call back a number that has been texted, emailed, or left on your answering machine. It can be a con artist pretending to be a credit card company.
Frauds rise together with the number of card business transactions. Global networking offers criminals just as many new options as it does for businesses. The internet has increased the likelihood of fraud in credit card transactions while simultaneously providing many benefits and opening up new channels for commercial transactions. The good news is that technology for combating credit card theft is constantly improving.