Financial Self Defense against Credit Card Fraud
Whodunnit? When we’re talking about credit card fraud, everyone’s pointing fingers at everyone else. Consumers tend to blame the credit card issuer, but the vulnerability usually lies with the point-of-sale terminal.
Tampering with a credit card reader takes just a few minutes and can be done with an inexpensive device that’s available on Amazon. There are lots of other ways your information can be skimmed, too. However, none of that points to a security deficiency with your credit union or credit card company.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent and recognize credit card fraud before it happens. Read on for all you need to know about credit card fraud.
5 ways your card can be frauded
- It’s physically lifted from your wallet.
- A restaurant or bar server skims it while it’s in their possession.
- A terminal you use is compromised.
- An online breach puts your information on the black market.
- Your computer has been hacked.
5 signs a terminal’s been compromised
- The security seal has been voided. When the pump is safe to use, the label has a red, blue or black background. A breached seal shows the words “Void Open” in white.
- The card reader is too big for the machine.
- The pin pad looks newer than the rest of the machine.
- The pin pad looks raised.
- The credit card reader is not secured in place. It should fit tightly and not be easily rattled.
5 times you’re at high risk for credit card fraud
- You lost your card.
- You’ve patronized a business in an area that’s unfamiliar to you.
- A company you use has been breached.
- You shared your information online with an unverifiable contact.
- You downloaded something from an unrecognizable source.
5 ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud
- Check all card readers for signs of tampering before paying.
- Never share your credit card information online unless you’re absolutely sure the website is authentic and the company is trustworthy.
- Check your monthly credit card statements for suspicious activity and review your credit reports on a frequent basis.
- Use cash when patronizing a business in an unfamiliar area.
- Don’t download attachments from unknown sources.
5 steps to take if your credit card’s been frauded
- Lock the compromised account.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Consider a credit freeze.
- Alert the FTC.
- Open new accounts.