Tips To Avoid Credit Card Theft
Credit card theft is something that does not discriminate. But what can you do to avoid the most common areas of theft?
Use The Chip When Shopping
If you are making a purchase at a retail store be sure to use the chip on your card rather than swiping. The difference is considerable - for each individual transaction the chip produces a unique one-time use code whereas swiping saves your credit card number and information in the store's financial database. If that database were hacked those who swiped their cards are vulnerable to theft when those who used the chip are safe.
For brick and mortar transactions chip cards provide a great deal of safety in a time when major retailers are always in danger of malicious hacks.
Don't Leave Your Wallet In The Car
It's a no-brainer but still a big driver of physical card theft - don't leave your wallet or purse in the car. If you are parking in a location that implies you are going to be gone for a good amount of time (think shopping centers, parking garages etc) then take your valuables with you or put them in the trunk.
People who break into cars do so quickly and look for anything valuable they can take with them. Cards stolen from cards are often used quickly - so quickly that before you even return to your car you cards could be used. If you have to leave them behind put them in the trunk and lock it, thieves are a little less inclined to pop open your trunk when quickly searching for something of value.
Be Wary Of Card Skimmers
If you are using your card someplace self-serve then always be weary of skimming devices. These devices are usually places where you are making purchase of completing a transaction without a cashier like a gas pump or ATM.
Spotting a skimmer may be difficult so always check the location where you swipe or insert your card. Do it look different than usual? Is it bulky? Does the card reader not fit so well?
Some skimmers are nearly impossible to detect so if you want to use a card simply make sure you are checking in on your online account regularly to spot fraud quickly. But the simpler solution is to use cash at the pump and an ATM that is inside the bank rather than outside or at a drive through.
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