Nine Simple Credit Card Mistakes That Can Cost You Later On

November 21, 2014

People make mistakes. However, you can do a few things to protect your sensitive financial information. Instead of addressing a full-fledged fiasco later on, you should take some simple measures to reduce your chances of falling victim to identity theft.

 

•Read the News and Stay Current

Criminals continually come up with more advanced ways to steal your information. One of the latest tactics for stealing your credit card number is picking up on the signal the chip embedded in most major credit cards. Be aware, and act accordingly.

•Separate Fact From Fiction

An envelope will not stop thieves from picking up the signal in your card, driver’s license, and passport. Similarly, drilling a hole in your card might do more harm than good. Use a proven method to deter theft instead of guessing.

•Go Back to Basics

Thieves can still steal your wallet with all of your cards inside. Instead of keeping the evidence, the smarter ones ditch the stolen goods after taking all sensitive information. Do not leave your wallet where it will likely be stolen, and report a lost wallet promptly.

•Be Proactive

Keep an eye on your FICO score and banking accounts for suspicious activity. Simply make a habit of looking at your bank account each morning or evening, and report any fraudulent charges right there and then. Often, criminals will charge a small amount to your card to see if they can get away with it before making much larger charges. Take the initiative to take charge of your finances and your identity.

•Keep a Paper Trail

The more often you use your card, the more often banks and credit card companies can detect suspicious activity. Also, it is easier to dispute a claim if you have evidence that you were practically unable to make a charge you did not actually make. Not using your card can work against you.

•Report Identity Theft Immediately

Do not wait until the next weekday evening to report identity theft. Identity theft is a crime. You should identify the Federal Trade Commission, local law enforcement, any companies you engage in financial transactions with, and your bank as soon as you suspect someone else is using your identity. Simply inform each entity that you suspect your identity and sensitive information has been compromised.

•Use Facts to Protect Yourself

Identity theft does not only happen online. Sensitive information is acquired in public places all the time. Invest in a small device that will interfere with electronic devices criminals use to pick up on information embedded in your credit cards and personal identification cards.

•Communicate With Your Bank andCredit Card Providers Credit Card Providers

Never hesitate to communicate with financial institutions you work with regularly. They need to know what is going on. It is better to be cognizant than fall victim to identity theft. Instead of hoping everything will work out, take the initiative to protect yourself.

•Keep Medical Records and Receipts

One common source of fraud happens in doctors’ offices. Keep records of estimates, bills, and services provided. Due to HIPPA, credit card companies cannot easily investigate claims regarding unlawful charges to your credit card for medical services.

Protecting Your Financial Information Is Easier Than You Think

Take a few simple steps to protect your sensitive information today. It is almost always a lot easier than addressing a crisis later on.