The average citizen is very lax with the security of their credit card information therefore may be giving a non-verbal invitations to credit card scammers. Understanding how your card can be compromised is the first step to protecting your credit. There are many ways to extract your sensitive data to enable someone to go on a “free” shopping spree.
Lets start off by thinking like a thief, If someone wants to mimic your spending habits then they must first understand where you spend your money and how often you spend it. If they have access to your credit card statements, either by sifting through your mail or by breaking into your credit card account they can start to clone your credit experiences. By changing your password of your credit account to a 15 character passphrase your credit hacking experience may be minimized, also ensure that you shred all credit card statements after you have reviewed them, or lock them in a safe that is secured.
By understanding your shopping trends the “credit intruder” may be able to get around the alert system your credit card company has put in place. One healthy credit habit that you can adopt is to create an alert for your credit card. This pro-active measure is quick and easy and may save you from a lot of time and energy and most of all credit headaches. Many credit card companies will let you create credit alerts from your account with as much or as little detail you would like to be alerted on, for example you may want to be alerted for any charges over $100.00.
Understanding the types of credit card fraud will also help you defend yourself against credit card theft. Did you know that your magnetic strip of your card can be transferred over to a new card with little effort? Well many consumers don’t understand the cloning of credit cards but the criminals do! As easy as your card was made, another card with the same information, Your Name, Your Card Number can be duplicated. If you are not going to use a card, then lock it in a safe place! Lost or stolen cards can go unnoticed giving the thief enough time to create a credit nightmare for you. Ensure you are using your credit card on a safe website, if you are redirected to another website beware that this may an attempt to extract your credit information. When giving your credit card information over the phone ensure the person you are giving your information to is a representative of the company and not a telemarketing scamming group.
During this busy holiday season and beyond ensure that you are both creating a safe and healthy environment for yourself as well as your credit history! Remember to understand what threats lie beneath the quick savings and the glamorous “Buy Now” offers! Ensure you are proactive by creating measures that you will always be aware of what is going on with your credit cards!