Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a crime on the rise.
It costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions
of dollars each year. And no matter how vigilant you
are there is no guarantee you will not become a victim.
But there are steps you can take to minimize your
chances of being victimized by credit card fraud.

Keep a list of all of your credit cards, including card
numbers, PIN's, expiration dates, and the toll free line
for each card.  Keep the list in a secure place in case  your
cards are stolen or destroyed.

Sign your cards as soon as you receive them.

Open your statements right away when you receive them and
look for any suspicious charges.

Save your receipts each month and use them to reconcile
with your monthly statement.

If you see anything out of the ordinary or purchases that
you didn't make, call your credit card issuer and let them
know. Follow up in writing.

Don't just toss your bills in the trash. Most credit card
thieves still find their victims by digging through garbage
bags. Shred your credit card bills to make them unreadable.
Also shred credit card offers you receive in the mail or
they can be used to open an account in your name.

Cut up expired cards before throwing them away. Cut the part
of the card that contains the number into pieces too small to
put back together.

Do not write your account number on the outside of the envelope
or anywhere that it can be seen through the envelope window.

Never give out your credit card number over the phone unless
you initiated the call and you know you are dealing with a
reputable company. Never give your number to anyone looking
to 'verify your information' or if they initiated the call.

When giving your credit card number over the Internet, make
sure that the merchant web site is secure.

Never respond to emails that state they are looking to 'verify
your account information'. This type of scam is common online.
Even if the email and Website appear legitimate, don't do it.
Legitimate businesses will not ask you to confirm account
information via email.

Never sign a blank receipt. Put a line through any blank lines
on the receipt to prevent someone adding to your total.

Don't write your PIN number on your card or anywhere in your
wallet. If someone steals it they will easily be able to clean
out your account.

Finally, when moving, make sure to update your address with your credit
card company and have the post office forward your mail to your new address.

Ed Lathrop is a successful real estate investor and a series 3 commodities futures broker.
He has extensive knowledge of the credit/mortgage markets.  He has built the financial
calculator Website, ezcalculator which is free to use and includes the calculator, "Pay Your
Credit Card Debt Quick."  Ezcalculator can be found at Mortgage Calculator or by going to