How to Avoid Credit Card Scams
    Posted on 09/30/2022

Your credit card details are always at risk of being stolen and used by criminals and scammers. Credit card fraud unfortunately happens every single day to thousands of people across the globe. Although one cannot always stop it from happening, they can take several steps to ensure that they lessen the odds of it occurring to them.

Credit Card Fraud: The Basics

Theft of a person’s credit card is obviously one the major ways that criminals obtain credit card information. This can be both physical theft and electronic theft. Methods that criminals use vary from digging through the trash in order to find sensitive details, to hacking into a person’s computer to electronically steal their credit card information. Hackers nowadays have the ability and knowledge needed in order to hack the websites of financial institutions, which is one of the currently major vulnerabilities within the financial sector. There are many ways that a criminal can obtain credit card details, and the list of methods is only getting longer. The following are some of the more common tactics that criminals use to procure an individual’s credit card information:

-Hacking into your computer and installing software which spies on you, recording all of your personal information. This type of software can be installed from the comfort of the e-criminals own home, having no need for physical access to the computer.

-Physically stealing your credit card

-Deceiving you into giving them your card details or other sensitive information.

-Making use of highly illegal “skimming” hardware on ATM’s. These types of devices record all of the information entered into the ATM.

-Hacking into unsecured websites to steal personal data.

As soon as the criminals obtain your credit card number and other details associated with the account, the can then easily make purchases through the internet or phone. They even have the ability of making a duplicate credit card if they have your information, which they can then use to withdraw money from ATM’s or make purchases in a store.   

 How to Prevent Credit Card Scams

It’s important to first know the warning signs of credit card fraud. It is possible that your credit card’s details have been stolen if purchases on the card have been made that you did not make, you mistakenly hand out your details to a non-trustworthy person or entity and then realize the mistake you made, or you have physically lost your card.

There are several things that one can do to protect themselves from credit card fraud:

-Routinely check your bank and credit card account statements and see if there are any purchases or activity on them that you know you did not conduct. If anything like that does in fact appear on your statements, it is important to contact the bank or company immediately and inform them of the situation.

-Never hand out sensitive financial data to callers on the phone or emailers unless you know for sure who is actually making the call or writing the email. 

-This is obvious, but never tell anyone your PIN number or password for your accounts, and always pick a number or password that is not easily knowable (i.e. your birthdate, last name, or anything along those lines).

-Ensure that anti-virus and anti-spyware software is installed on all computers that you use, and make sure that these programs are constantly kept up to date.

Credit card fraud is one of the major forms of financial criminal activity around the world, with thousands falling victim to shameless scammers every single day. Do not let yourself become an easy target for these criminals by taking the above guidelines to heart. Doing so will only lessen the chances that your credit card information is stolen.

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