How do I Avoid a Credit Card Scam?
Unfortunately, there are may thieves who choose credit card scams as their preferred method of stealing from others. These thieves often work to obtain credit card numbers and other identifying information from unsuspecting consumers. Others may work to get consumers to purchase items or services they have no intention of providing. While many people do get taken by these scam artists, there are some easy ways to avoid losing money to a credit card scam. They include protecting your personal information; being aware of typical scam tactics; keeping track of your credit reports and billing statements; and reporting missing credit cards right away.
When you want to avoid becoming a victim of a credit card scam, you’ll need to guard your credit card account numbers carefully. For example, shredding any documents that list your credit card numbers on them is better than throwing them into the trash. Many thieves will happily dig through trash bags in order to get their hands on credit card numbers. Typically, experts recommend not only shredding current information, but also documents that list information about expired cards. Criminals can sometimes find crafty ways to use outdated information.
Another way to avoid becoming a victim of a credit card scam is to be strict about whom you give your numbers to over the phone. If someone calls you and asks you to pay for something by credit card, it’s typically best to refuse. Likewise, you may do well to refuse to verify your account number, address, or other personal information by phone, as criminals often use realistic-sounding customer service or collection calls to obtain credit card numbers. In general you should only give your account numbers to companies with which you are already familiar or have good reason to believe are reputable. Even then, it may be best to refuse to share this information if you didn't initiate the call.
Staying on top of your financial matters can also help you avoid a credit card scam. This typically means reviewing your billing statements as soon as you get them, checking your credit reports periodically, and reporting any errors right away. In many cases, credit card companies have policies that limit the amount of money you will be liable for in cases of fraud, but this often depends on how quickly you report it. Additionally, it is critical to report stolen or lost cards as soon as you notice they are missing.
One of the best ways to avoid becoming a victim of a credit card scam involves keeping up with news. If you pay attention to news regarding new scams, you may be less likely to fall for scam attempts. You may learn about credit card scams not only by watching or listening to news reports, but also by visiting scam alert websites.
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