The Guideline From Semalt: How To Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

While the efforts of authorities and agencies to curb credit card fraud and other types of technological thefts are highly appreciated, as a credit card user you should know that the security of your credit card starts with you. Your most important shield against this crime is information on how it is carried out. This means being aware of the types of scams used by criminals and the signs to watch out for.

Lisa Mitchell, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, has tailored some useful information that will help you stay safe from credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud is carried out using three main ways:

1. Criminal gets hold of the credit card: pickpockets and experienced thieves may use distraction theft or more confrontational approaches to have the card in their hands. Sometimes, the wrong hands may make contact with a pre-approved card. They may get it from the mail box, trash bin or wherever. With the card in their hands and our very information-generous internet, even the unthinkable is possible.

2. Credit card skimmers: with details of your credit card, a criminal can clone the card or use the information maliciously. The talk about card skimmers is an ever hot topic whenever credit card fraud is discussed. Skimmers read and record a credit card's details. More often credit card skimmers are used on cash machines and are accompanied with a camera. In a matter of minutes, the card can be copied and money taken.

3. Unscrupulous workers at the store, gas station, restaurant, or any other place you use your credit card may read the credit card details and use wireless technology to perpetrate credit card fraud.

You realize that credit card fraudsters cannot use stolen cards in a way that will expose their location or identity. They cannot buy goods on Amazon, for example, and have them shipped to their homes. A very important question then arises: how do they get actual money from the unlawful operation?

Most of the innovative credit card fraudsters involve an innocent party in their operation to get clean cash. They can post an ad for a popular item on an e-commerce site. The criminal actually doesn't have the item, but when an innocent online shopper buys it, the criminal turns around and buys the same item from an online store with the bought CC numbers. S/he then puts the innocent buyer's address as the shipping destination. Then, he makes the stores send the product directly to the buyer, but he gets the money and can spend it in any way.

What Can You Do To Stay Safe From Credit Card Fraud?

You've ever paid with a credit card at a restaurant, grocery store, your dentist's, gas pump, or other place. It's universally agreeable that using credit cards is one of the most convenient methods of making payments. However, there might be danger lurking somewhere every time a mistake is made when the credit card is used, such as forgetting to pick a credit card receipt after a transaction, or when irresponsible hands get hold of the card.

Here are some useful tips on how to stay safe from credit card fraud:

  • Guard your information online
  • Avoid giving out your credit card information
  • Monitor your credit card and bank statements
  • Verify your mailing address with financial institutions and the post office
  • Shred sensitive documents to reduce chances of your information being exposed to many eyes

The most important tip is to guard your information online. There are millions of scammers and fraudsters in the web looking for free money to prey on. Who you give your personal information online is at your discretion, but it's safe to try your best to avoid doing so, especially for your credit card information.