Identity Theft and Credit Card fraud are currently two of the biggest worries for consumers who transact online. It takes just a few minutes if not several seconds for a fraudster to tap both personal and credit card information from credit cards and use that information for whatever the thief wishes. So, how can you protect yourself?
First, you need to know what qualifies as identity theft. Identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) occurs when someone obtains a cardholder’s personal information such as the social security number and credit card data with the intention of using this information to commit fraud or other crimes. It is estimated that 9 million Americans fall victim to identity theft every year. Credit card fraud occurs when a thief uses a credit card to make an unauthorized purchase. It is also possible for the thief to use the card to open multiple accounts in the name of the actual cardholder and take loans.
There are currently several tools developed by different companies and financial institutions to help in the fight against both identity theft and credit card fraud. Some credit card chargeback protection providers now also offer ID theft prevention in a bid to reduce the amount of time and money spent in the event of ID theft or credit card fraud. In addition, every cardholder needs to take active steps to protect themselves. Here are a few things to consider;
- 1. Guard your online information
In the current age, most of us buy and sell items online and accomplish most banking activities over the internet. With all those account numbers and passwords floating around the web, it’s easy for a thief to intercept your information and use it elsewhere. So,
- Clear your logins and passwords – this is particularly necessary if you’ve been working from a public computer. Also consider changing your logins and passwords monthly.
- Pay using credit cards – credit cards are more secure compared to debit cards, online wallets, wiring, and other payment options. They’re better protected under the federal law.
- Be alert for phishing – Phishing is where a spam or pop-up mimicking legitimate banks and businesses obtain your banking information and use it to access your accounts. Do NOT fall victim to this scam. Always ensure to verify that you’re indeed on the bank’s page before entering any information.
You also need to monitor your bank and credit card statements as well as your credit reports regularly to keep yourself on the safe side.