Avoid Credit Card Fraud This Holiday Season

Avoid Credit Card Fraud This Holiday Season
  • Opening Intro -

    This weekend, millions of American consumers will be shopping for Christmas gifts, representing one of the largest buying pushes of the year.

    Analysts hope that your buying habits will lay the foundation for an economic revival, but that could come at the expense of increased consumer debt.

    Moreover, holiday shopping also leads to an increase in lost credit card claims according to Capital One, a leading card issuer.

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Christmas shopping can lead to an increase in identity theft.

How can you avoid credit card loss and subsequent identity theft? Well, being mindful of what you’re doing is of utmost importance — if you’re caught up in the seasonal frenzy, you may become distracted long enough to fall prey to those who love to get a hold of your credit cards. You can avoid problems and respond quickly if your credit card is stolen, by doing the following:

Keep track of your cards — Quite simply, keep track of your credit cards at all times. If you aren’t going to use a particular card while shopping, then leave that card at home in a secure place advises ClearPoint Financial Solutions. Bring with you the cards you will use and keep these properly stashed away when not in use. You should be able to track 1-3 credit cards easier than 4 or more.

Get your card back — Along with keeping track of your credit cards, you need to make sure that the cashier returns your card to you after you used it. Your card should always be in view too. If the cashier walks away with it, he can make a copy of your card with his smartphone camera or other device and save that information for misuse later.

Never lend out your card — If your name is on the credit card, only you should use it. If your spouse needs access to this account, then issue a separate card for him or her. Allowing anyone else to use your card means that you’re suddenly vulnerable to misuse or to their own carelessness. Keep in mind that your spouse’s credit problems can hurt your credit score notes Privacy Matters.

Keep your information private — Never share your pin number with anyone. Moreover, know to whom you give your credit card number and 3- or 4-digit credit card security code or number. This information, were it to fall into the wrong hands, could lead to someone else using your card and running up a huge debt before they can be stopped.

Quick Fixes

If a problem with your credit card does arrive, your quick action can stem severe losses. Typically, you’re responsible for the first $50 of any loss, an amount your credit card issuer might waive if you press your case.

Once you suspect your card has been stolen, notify your credit card issuer immediately. Notify your local police too as your report might possibly help law enforcement undercover a theft ring. Change your identify and password too. Lastly, notify the three credit reporting bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — that your card was stolen. A note will be placed in your credit files to warn creditors of possible problems with your identity down the line; pull your credit reports one or two months later to see if unauthorized new accounts have been opened in your name.

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Categories: Credit Cards