Identity theft is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous crimes in America. People are losing thousands of dollars and months, if not years, of their lives to correct the damage to their credit and their reputations. A large part of identity theft is credit card fraud, where somebody either uses your credit cards to make illegal purchases, or opens up a completely new credit card in your name and goes on a spending spree to end all spending sprees.
1. Be Careful with Your Personal Information Online
Its really no laughing matter, though, and you should take serious steps to avoiding credit card fraud. One of the best ways to avoid credit card fraud is to be careful with your online purchases. Many Web sites will store your credit card information on them, leaving your valuable information out there on the Internet for hackers to steal. That makes it important to always decline a Web site that asks to store your personal information. Sure you may have to re-enter your info every time your make a purchase at a site, but the extra effort is well worth it.
2. The Verification Code
Another good step is to only shop at Internet sites that require you to enter the special three-digit code on the back of your credit card. Basically, entering these codes from the back of your card prove to the online vendor that you have the actual card in hand, and havent stolen the number and expiration date.
3. Temporary Numbers
Third, look into finding a credit card that provides temporary numbers for Internet purchases. This is a new feature of certain credit card companies out there to prevent fraud. Each time you buy something online, your card provides you with a unique new number known only to you.
4. Get a Shredder
When it comes to preventing criminals from opening up new cards in your name, one of the tried and true ways to prevent this form of fraud is by shredding each and every document that comes to you in the mail. This includes every new credit card offer, as well as the statements you throw out from your current cards. Especially be sure to shred those checks that credit card companies send you.
5. Examine Your Credit Report
Lastly, take up the credit bureaus offers to allow you to examine your credit reports for free. These credit reports allow you to be certain that no one has opened a credit card in your name without your permission. They also allow you to see if you have old credit card accounts open that youve forgotten about, accounts that are best closed before someone steals your identity through them.