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Feb 16, 2024

What You Need to Know About Credit Card Fraud

Banking/Personal Finance, Credit Cards, General Information, Security

couple on a computerIt may seem like there’s little you can do to keep credit card fraud from happening to you. However, there are ways to protect yourself and make it much harder for criminals to get your information. Let’s look at how credit card fraud usually occurs and how you can protect yourself—and your money—from financial fraud.

What is card fraud?

What is card fraud?

Card fraud refers to the theft of your card or information on your card and the use of this information for fraudulent purposes. Criminals can use your credit or debit card information to purchase things for themselves without your knowledge or to get unauthorized funds from your account.

Thieves can retrieve your credit or debit card information in a number of ways, from digging through your trash, to finding old billing statements and even from hacking a retail website or card terminal where they steal your card number and share it. Phishing scams, online merchants that include fine print allowing them to charge your card for additional charges and straightforward theft are other common forms of card fraud. So, how do you stop card fraud before it starts?

How to help protect yourself

The best practice to help protect yourself against card fraud is to keep your cards and personal information safe and make it difficult for anyone to get ahold of your credit or debit card numbers. There are several ways to protect your card information from getting into the wrong hands.

Break these 5 habits to avoid card fraud:

  1. Don’t lend your credit or debit cards to anyone.
  2. Don’t leave anything with your card numbers on it out at work or at home. Keep financial documents safely filed and locked up. And when you no longer need your documents, shred them.
  3. Don’t give your card number to anyone over the phone or internet without first verifying the company is legitimate and be aware of the charges you are authorizing.
  4. Don’t carry your cards with you unless you plan to use them that day. This might seem impossible, but with Mobile Wallets, you can make purchases using your smart phone at retail stores and more.
  5. Don’t use an ATM or card machine, such as a gas station pump or self-checkout, if the reader appears to be tampered with.

6 tips for protecting your finances:

  1. Watch your card and anyone handling it during a purchase to identify suspicious behavior (like taking pictures of your card or writing down your card number on paper).
  2. Check your account online frequently, set up transaction text alerts, and review your monthly statements to quickly identify and report charges you didn’t make.
  3. Shred credit and debit cards once they’re expired or no longer in use.
  4. Change your address if you move. Notify card companies and put a hold on your mail if you’ll be traveling for an extended period.
  5. Keep card and account numbers obscured with security envelopes when sending mail.
  6. Enroll your Mission Fed Credit or Debit Card in Mastercard ID Theft Protection™. This free service alerts Mission Fed cardholders when personal information is being bought or sold online. Once you register for the service, you simply enter the personal information you want monitored, such as your Credit or Debit Card, social security number, driver’s license and other personal information, and you will be notified if the information is ever listed on the dark web.

If you are the victim of card fraud, what should you do?

If you realize that your credit or debit card information has been used fraudulently, call your card company immediately. Keep a record of numbers to call for each card to report loss or fraud. You’ll likely have to sign a statement testifying that you did not make the fraudulent purchases. For more information about how to keep your information secure online, read about how Mission Fed helps to protect our customers from financial fraud here.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Fed disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Fed is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Fed.

Mastercard ID Theft Protection is limited to cardholders with a US issued card. Additional terms and conditions apply. Mastercard ID Theft Protection is a registered trademark of Mastercard International, Inc.

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