Tips from the FTC on Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Stories always abound regarding some poor soul who was taken advantage of when it comes to credit cards. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to review the tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you follow these tips, you will significantly reduce your chances of being the victim of credit card fraud.

One of the first tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission is to sign your credit cards as soon as they arrive. It is easy to set a credit card aside with intentions of signing it “later.” But, later may come far too late if someone gets his or her hands on the card first. If that someone signs the card, it will be far easier for him or her to use your card without being noticed.

The Federal Trade Commission also recommends that you should avoid carrying your credit cards in your wallet and carry them separately.  For example, a special zippered compartment or a small pouch may be used instead. In case you do lose your credit cards, it is important that you have a record of your account numbers, including the phone number, address, and expiration dates of the cards.

When using your credit card, you should make sure to keep an eye on it at all times. You should also save all of your receipts and you should void any receipts that are incorrect. When you receive your billing statement, compare your saved receipts to make sure there are no fraudulent transactions. And, when those bills do arrive, be sure to check them right away. The sooner you report questionable charges, the better off you will be.

On the other hand, there are many things you should not do with your credit cards. First, never lend them out to someone or leave them lying around. You shouldn’t let your receipts lye around either. You should also never sign a blank receipt when you make a purchase. If there are blank spaces on the receipt, draw a line through them so nothing can be added to the receipt later.

This should go without saying, but people are still doing this as well – do no put your account number on the outside of an envelope or on a postcard. It is simply too easy for someone to steal your information without you ever knowing it when you broadcast it in this manner. Similarly, never give out your account number over the phone unless you are the one that did the calling and you are certain you have called a reputable organization or company. If you aren’t sure, called the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer protection office to check.

No matter how cautious you are, there is always a chance that someone will get a hold of your credit card information. Nonetheless, the more you adhere to these tips, the less likely it will happen to you