Five Easy Ways to Avoid Credit Card FraudOctober 4, 2010
Credit Card fraud is increasing because of growing scams and hackers causing financial distress for online shoppers. Practicing discretion when making online purchases and being wary of easy to spot scams will prevent credit card fraud.
Always Use Discretion
Much online fraud occurs from easy-to-avoid scams. Avoid opening emails that offer you credit cards or low-interest loans. These emails are sent out in the millions to unsuspecting victims who mistake them for legitimate offers from banks. While email scams come in many shapes and forms, practicing discretion will help you avoid credit card fraud. Do not click on ads, respond to emails or believe every website that asks for your credit card information. If you are unsure, check a database of trusted online sites, contact your bank directly or speak to a customer representative.
Always Buy From Trusted Sources
Buying from trusted sources reduces the risk of credit card fraud online. The Better Business Bureau offers retailers a method to verify themselves as a trusted source. Businesses that display a trusted logo are typically safe to shop from. If you are unsure of the site, double-check the BBB’s online database.
Use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Verification
If the retailer you are making a purchase from is verified and legitimate, there is always the chance of someone intercepting your information without you, or the retailer knowing about it. A hacker can intercept your credit card information as you make a purchase if the retailer does not provide a Verisign SSL certificate. This certificate is issued by Verisign to the retailer and provides an added measure of security during any transaction. SSL.com provides a great way to check if a website is SSL compliant.
Never Email Sensitive Information
Another source of credit card fraud stems from information being sent in an email. Accounts can be easily hacked if a weak password is used and emails containing sensitive information will be exploited. If someone asks for your credit card information to make a purchase whether its a friend or family member, do not email it. If your email account is secure, their account may not and could fall prey to a virus which could scan their data, including information you have sent them.
Frequently Change Online Passwords
One popular hacking method is a brute force attack which exploits weak passwords for online accounts. If you are using a weak password for every single one of your online accounts, it makes it that much easier for a hacker to crack your password and steal your information. Changing your passwords on a regular basis, using multiple different passwords for different accounts and making passwords stronger by adding more characters and symbols will deter credit card fraud.
Incidence of credit card fraud is growing. Consumers that don’t practice discretion when using their credit card online fall prey to scams that are otherwise easy to avoid. Buying from trusted retailers and not storing sensitive information in a way that’s easy to access will help deter Credit Card fraud. Once you put these five tips into practice, you’ll be far less likely to experience credit card fraud- but even if you do, know that you can always trust the Credit Card Fraud Experts at Hornberger Brewer LLC.
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