You may run a business and accept credit cards, but you’re also a consumer. As a cardholder, do you know the different ways to avoid credit card fraud? Understanding common types of fraud and schemes that involve stolen credit card information can help you reduce the risk of your own identity being stolen. Below are just a few guidelines for consumers to follow to avoid fraud. As a business owner, be sure that your customers are aware of these tips in order to increase security for their information as well as your business.
Keep your credit card close. A stolen credit card can be immediately used to make large purchases and quickly fill the cardholder’s credit limit. Ensuring your credit card information is safe from physical theft is a matter of keeping your card close to you at all times. Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended. Even hanging your coat or bag on the back of your chair in a restaurant leaves your credit card vulnerable to theft.
Sign your card. An unsigned credit card that has been stolen makes it easier for thieves to use for fraudulent activity. They can simply sign your name on the back of your card in their handwriting and pass the card off as their own. When you receive a new credit card, be sure to sign it as soon as it is activated.
Only carry what you need. Many people have two or three different credit cards, each with its specific use. If you know you won’t be using a particular card when going out, don’t bring it with you. If you keep your credit cards in a safe place at home when you go out, you can avoid losing multiple credit cards at once.
Protect your PIN. If you have a debit card, try to commit the card’s personal identification number (PIN) to memory. By memorizing your PIN, you eliminate the need to write it down, reducing the risk of your PIN being stolen for fraudulent use. Sometimes thieves will pose as issuers or banks with a request for your PIN. Never reveal your PIN to anyone. If you are unsure of a request, call your bank or issuer to double check.
These are just a few tips and guidelines to follow that can help you avoid credit card fraud. Always keep these precautions in mind in order to keep your personal information secure.