Here are a few tips to minimize the risk of fraud.
Shopping in Person
Carry your cards separately from your wallet to minimize losses if your wallet or purse is stolen. Only bring the cards you plan on using and leave the rest at home. During the transaction, keep your eye on your card.
Make sure you get your card back and put it away before you leave the counter. Save your receipts!
Check your accounts online often and reconcile your receipts to the transactions.
Make sure your PC/device is working properly and is updated with the most current anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware software.
Before entering your financial information on a site, double check the site's security. Make sure you are on a secure form, that there is an "s" at the end of "http" in the URL, and check to see if the form is secured by a company like VeriSign or Go Daddy.
Don't put confidential information in an unsecured email, even if it's from a website you do business with.
Do not use public wireless hot spots or Wi-Fi to shop online! Don't use your debit card for any online purchases. If you're the victim of fraud with a debit card, the money in your bank account can be drained immediately (you may have to wait until the fraud investigation is complete before your bank funds are returned to you).
Before making an online purchase from a company you're not familiar with, do some research. What's being said about the company? Check with the Better Business Bureau in the area where the company is located. Is the company getting complaints?
Keep a record of your credit card account numbers, expiration dates, security codes and phone numbers and store in a secure place (NOT on your mobile device!). If your home printer is also a copier, consider putting all of your cards on it, photocopying both sides and storing it in a secure place.
Set up online alerts for your card accounts. By setting alerts for any transaction more than $0 (or $1 if it won't accept a zero), you'll get an alert for all transactions.
Report any questionable transactions to your financial institution.
Notify your credit card company if you plan to travel or if your address changes. Your transactions may be blocked in an effort to protect your account from fraud.
Call your credit card company immediately if your card is lost or stolen.
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