Credit card fraud comes in all shapes and sizes. The purpose of it may be to obtain funds from the credit account or to use it to purchase goods. In either case, credit card fraud is very closely linked to identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission says that 5% of all Americans over the age of 16 will at some point be the victim of identity theft. Let’s talk about some of the most common forms of credit card fraud as well as a variety of ways to help you protect yourself against it.
This type of fraud typically goes hand-in-hand with identity theft. What happens is that once your identity is stolen, someone else will apply for a credit card or some other form of credit in your name. Obviously, in order for such an application to be filled out the perpetrator would have somehow gained access to your personal documents and then use them to substantiate their application.
While most banks and financial institutions do require original documents, it’s very easy to forge documents. And despite security measures that may be in place to stop this kind of activity, the less law-abiding amongst us can work their way around these security measures.
How Can You Keep Your Documents and Personal Information Safe?
If credit card fraud and identity theft go hand-in-hand, what can you do to protect your identity? The documents and personal information that make up your identity? One of the most recommended ways to do this is to use a Virtual Private Network — VPN.
In most cases, someone isn’t physically breaking into your home and stealing your paperwork, like your social insurance number and other critical information. They’re getting that information online, and often, because you’re doing something, or rather, you’re not doing something to keep your information safe. Using a VPN provides twofold protection. First, it gives you anonymity while you’re online, and secondly, it encrypts all of your data, keeping it safe from prying eyes and those who would steal it.
Take some time and research VPNs, if you’re not familiar with them. Why not start with NordVPN, as it is one of the top-rated. Read an unbiased review about it.
Electronic or Manual Credit Card Imprints
Moving on, let’s get back to the common forms of credit card theft. A card imprint — and these can be taken either manually or electronically — is when someone removes the information that’s embedded on the magnetic strip of a credit card. Fraudsters can then use this to encode fake credit card.
Card Not Present (CNP)
An example of a card not present would be when you order a pizza and pay by credit card over the phone. The pizzeria will ask for your credit card number, ask for the expiry date, and the name on the card. So all that’s necessary is for someone to have that information.
They don’t need to have the card to be able to order something over the phone, by mail, and in some cases maybe even online. This is one of the reasons why it’s much more common now to have a verification code found on the back of the card. However, this is a limited layer of protection.
Lost and Stolen Cards
While a lost or stolen credit card and can’t be used at a bank machine or in certain processing machines that require a pin number, they can be used to make online purchases. If your card is lost or stolen, you must cancel it as soon as you are aware that it’s missing.
Mail Non-Receipt Card Fraud
Have you ever received a new or updated credit card in the mail, and known exactly what it was just by the feeling of the envelope? Anyone with a clue knows that there’s a credit card in the envelope, and often times there intercepted before they reach your home. All whoever stole it has to do is register it themselves, and use it.
How to Protect Yourself
We’ve already provided one major way of protecting yourself against credit card fraud — using a VPN — but are there others? There are.
Here are a few simple measures anyone can take to help protect themselves against fraud:
1. If someone phones you or emails you claiming to represent a company and asking for your credit card number for any reason, do not share it. Only share your credit card information with the company that you know to be reputable, and that you called yourself.
2. Carry your credit cards somewhere other than your wallet. This may seem extremely inconvenient, but you don’t think so. If your wallet is stolen. Also, don’t carry all of your credit cards.
3. While shopping, or anywhere where you’re using your credit card, always keep your eyes on your card.
4. When your statements arrive in the mail, check them immediately. Or if your statement is available online, check it often. Be alert for suspicious transactions.
With just this you simple measures, hopefully, he’ll never have to face having to deal with credit card fraud.
Credit Card Scams: How To Report Them
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