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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Protection Tips

Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Protection Tips

March 29, 2010
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Most people identify credit card fraud or identity theft to fraudulent online activities, where an individual unwittingly divulges personal information to a hacker or Internet scammer. Surprisingly though just a mere 14% of all identity fraud cases reported arise from online hacking and that majority (80%) of cases are attributed to personal theft or burglary.

Below are easy to follow anti-fraud/anti-identity theft tips:

1) Check the contents of your purse or wallet. Never put inside your purse or wallet highly sensitive personal information and documents such as social security numbers, passports and birth certificates. Unless necessary, do not carry multiple credit cards. These practices would significantly reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft in case your wallet or purse gets lost or stolen.

2) Create hard to crack passwords and PIN codes. When creating PIN codes or passwords avoid using easy to decipher information such as your birthday, mother's maiden name and consecutive numbers. Use a mix of characters and numbers.

Also commit to memory your passwords and avoid recording them in your laptop or cell phones. Never store bits of paper containing your password or PIN codes in your wallet or purse.

3) Check your credit report. Take advantage of the law that allows individuals to secure free credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Check for any discrepancies or suspicious entries. If you find anything suspicious immediately report your findings to the appropriate agency.

4) Never give personal information to solicitors over the phone unless you are sure they are for legitimate purposes. Social security numbers can be used by crooks to open up accounts under your name and then charge you later for purchases. If you get a business call asking for your social number, ask the caller where it's going to be used. If you are not satisfied with his explanation, hang up.

5) Log off after an online transaction. Completely log off from a site following a transaction. Also refuse requests from browsers to save your login information, such as passwords and account names.

6) Protect your computer with the latest security software programs. Get the most current spyware, malware and anti-virus programs. Having a "well-protected" computer would prevent hackers from tracking your online transactions and capturing personal information.

7) Never respond to suspicious email messages. Some email messages are designed to deceive a person into disclosing his personal information. If you suspect a particular email message to be dubious or fake, delete it right away and do not click on any link contained in the message.

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