In order to prevent online credit card fraud, it would be wise to know about some common scam credit card tricks to ensure you do not fall for one of them. Among the best-known are those which try to deceive you to provide your personal information but there are plenty others.
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No doubt you have heard the Abraham Lincoln phrase “you can fool some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” With so much of your life connected to your personal information, you can’t take chances on being fooled even once. Forewarned is forearmed so take heed to the following information to better protect yourself from all the con artists out there.
How do scam credit card tricks work?
The Internet has been one of the most wonderful creations of our lifetime. It can also be one of the most insidious. Information can be both shared and abused at the speed of light, which makes it easier than ever to fall victim to scams and harder to fix a problem once it occurs.
If you are concerned about credit card safety it’s important for you to knw that some of the most successful scams are the ones that use dishonesty or a hoax to mislead you into thinking they are legitimate or previously connected to you in some way.
- For example, you may get a call or email asking you to corroborate information they say they already have from doing prior business with you. It is important to remember that no genuine institution would ever do this.
- Other schemes may offer to get you a lower interest rate for your credit card but want to charge you for the service, so of course they need your credit card number. The truth is you can often negotiate a lower rate simply by calling your credit card company yourself.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation periodically lists new and continuing scams so you can always check their site for updated information.
How can you protect yourself?
In the past if someone wanted to scam you, they had to send you something in the mail, call you on the phone or worse, face you in a home or business setting. These types of swindles still exist but more criminals seem to be turning to the Internet because with it they can get to you faster and avoid any personal connection or retribution. Here are some things to do to help protect yourself from a credit card scam:
- One of the best methods for defense is to trust your instincts. If your gut has butterflies or you feel nervous in any way, this is your brain trying to warn you against something. Listen to it.
- Some criminals give themselves away by trying too hard so you should be on the lookout for this as well. If anyone tries to pressure you into buying right now or they become bothersome with repeated requests, you should report them to the authorities. You can learn how to file a complaint by visiting the Federal Trade Commission.
- You can also protect yourself by protecting your credit card. Do not let anyone else use it and do not leave it exposed where a bystander could see your numbers or PIN.
- Examine every monthly statement carefully and alert your credit company immediately about anything that looks suspicious.
- Better yet, you can enroll in plans which allow you to constantly track your information and receive frequent alerts.
- Only give your credit card number when purchasing something that you have chosen. Someone who calls you to sell or offer you something could be calling from anywhere, despite what your caller ID might display.
- For online safety, make sure you check for security measures such as a change in color on the address bar and the little padlock graphic, which contains the site’s privacy certificate information.
How many credit card scams are there each year?
According to the FBI, more than 20,000 complaints are filed each month and billions of dollars are lost each year through scams. Millions of Americans use credit cards and for each one, there is a con artist looking to take advantage of them, with women and the elderly as common targets. Research has shown that credit card identity theft, and identity theft in other forms, is at the top of the list for things people worry most about.
Years ago, people felt embarrassed if they were duped in a credit card scam. Now, however, credit card companies are cracking down on fraud and consumers have taken notice, so most victims today report their contact and experience with deceptive organizations. You, as a consumer, need to take the steps noted above to keep yourself safe.
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