Credit Card Safety
Twenty tips to follow
- Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. If possible, don't let your card out of your sight.
- It cannot be overemphasized: Do not give out your credit card information over the phone unless you initiated the call and you know the company is reputable. Be suspicious of anyone who calls to "verify information." Legitimate companies don't call you to ask for a credit card number over the phone.
- Never respond to e-mails that request your credit card info or that ask you to go to a Web site to verify personal (and credit card) information.
- Never provide your credit card information on a Web site that is not secure. Check each time to make sure the URL address begins with https: before you enter any information.
- Sign your credit cards as soon as you receive them. For greater security, write "Ask for ID" instead of your name on the back of your card. (You'll be surprised at how few merchants actually ask. Thank the ones who do!)
- Shred all credit card applications you receive in the mail.
- Don't write your PIN number on your credit card -- or have it in your wallet or purse near your credit card.
- Never leave credit cards or receipts lying around.
- Shield your credit card number so that others around you can't copy it or capture it on a cell phone or surveillance cameras.
- Keep an up-to-date list in a secure place with all of your credit card account numbers and expiration dates, as well as the contact phone number and address of the issuing financial institution.
- Only carry the credit cards that you use regularly. Secure the cards you rarely use in a safe place and not in your purse or wallet.In fact, it's even better if the cards you do carry with you are not in your wallet.
- Open credit card bills promptly and make sure there are no fraudulent charges. Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly bills.
- If you find any charges that you do not recognize or have a receipt for, report them promptly (and in writing) to the credit card issuer.
- Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.
- Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.
- Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Draw a line through any blank portions of the receipt.
- Never write your credit card account number in a public place (such as on a postcard or so that it shows through the envelope payment window). If you write down a card number, make sure the numbers are not impressed onto any paper or material below.
- It goes without saying, never lend a credit card to anyone else.
- If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address.
- Be suspicious! Never disclose your personal information unless you are sure it is a reputable company.