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Don’t Be the Next Credit Card Fraud Victim

If you use credit cards on a regular basis, are you doing all you can to avoid criminals looking to make your life miserable?

Unfortunately, credit card fraud remains a major problem in the U.S. (much of the world for that matter too). Despite protections put in by businesses, protections that many consumers use these days, criminals can still find a way to make life miserable for hard-working people.

That said there are a number of personal protections that consumers can and should be practicing, protections that could mean the difference between being a victim or not.

So, will you do all you can do to avoid becoming the next credit card fraud victim?

Using Commonsense is Critical

For starters, avoiding credit card fraud is actually easier than you may think.

Yes, there is some work to do on your part, but using commonsense is actually more important than you may realize at first.

Stop for a moment and think about when you use your card, be it in-person or online.

For those times using it in-person, do you leave it sitting around for even a few seconds? Do you make sure to avoid having a receipt left behind? Have you been known to give out your credit card account information within earshot of others? One or all of these actions can lead to a criminal getting ahold of your account details in less than 30 seconds.

Secondly, if you shop online for many of your goods and services, are you doing your best to make the purchases as secure as possible?

Unfortunately, this is once again an area where consumers can make mistakes.

For instance, having an unsecure computer can be an open door invitation to online criminals to snatch your credit card information. Once they have that data, they can use your card or cards and pile up large expenses, many of which you won’t even know about until it is too late.

If either of these scenarios (in-person and online gaffes) sound familiar, the time is now to make sure one or both never likely occur again.

Borrowing Your Credit Cards

Although you might be the kindest person around, loaning your credit card to outside family members and/or friends to use is a recipe for disaster.

For starters, they could easily lose the information or have it stolen; meaning someone now has access to your financial world. Secondly (although you would like to think this would never happen), they may use it beyond what you two had agreed to at first. Next thing you know, they have accrued a sizable bill. Although they may offer to pay it back as soon as possible, you are now stuck with a number of expenses.

Loaning your credit card to an immediate family member may be fine, but do it with conditions attached.

Make sure they understand that it is to be used for agreed upon purchases. They also have to be sure they hold themselves accountable for its safety at all times. Simply put; don’t lose it.

Finally, be sure to report any suspicious credit card activity immediately.

Yes, it may take you a bit of time to realize that your card or cards haven’t been used legally, but waiting to do something about it is a problem.

First, banks will tend to assist you, but they also expect you to report suspicious activity sooner rather than later. Secondly, the financial damage that can hit you is something that may take more time to recover from than you first think.

Stay a Step Ahead of Criminals

So that you have a little peace of mind when all is said and done, making sure your credit cards are safe and sound is something you can bank on.

When you do that, you might even consider kicking back and taking a vacation, knowing that your financial well-being is protected.

And yes, be careful when you take those credit cards with you on a trip.