Statistics show that every two seconds, someone becomes a victim of identity theft. While criminals diligently find ways to steal your identity on many various levels, credit card fraud is still one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S., resulting in staggering losses over $20 billion each year. With so much on-line shopping, it may seem like second nature to give your credit card number over the phone and online, but perhaps you should reconsider and take note of your risk of being the next victim of credit card fraud.
While higher security measures of credit cards are being implemented all the time, there are still dangers associated with credit card fraud and protective actions you need to take to protect your identity.
Basic Precautions to Protect Your Identity and Avoid Card Payment Fraud
A large portion of credit card fraud is due to over-the-phone transactions, but whether you are ordering online and giving your card number or verifying card information over the phone, you need to be wary. To best protect yourself, you need to know the following:
- Inquire whether the business you are making payments to utilizes Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This is designed to help business process card payments (Debit and Credit) safely and securely.
- Never give your credit card number to anyone who calls you. If someone calls and asks for that information, be wary and ask for the number to call them back to verify.
- Routinely review statements/transactions on your credit cards to spot unusual activity or odd charges you don’t recall making.
- Make sure you are making purchases from a reputable site. Some sites may seem secure or legitimate but are fraudulent.
- If you are sharing your card number on the phone to make a purchase or payment, go to a private location where nobody is within ear shot.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Install VPN (Virus Protection Network) on your personal computer.
- When making a payment or purchase over the phone, have the merchant confirm the details and amount before hanging up.
While some of this sounds like common sense, you may be surprised how easily it is to fall victim to credit card fraud and identity theft. If you have any questions concerning credit card fraud or how to further protect yourself and your identity, call us at Twin City Insurance at 828-464-2643.