Preventing Credit Card & Debit Card Fraud
- Use caution when shopping online and only make purchases from reputable websites.
- Make sure your home computer is equipped with virus, spyware, and malware protection to ensure your security from outside threats. Additionally, make sure your home wireless network is password protected.
- Never enter your account information on a public computer or network.
- Never leave receipts such as ATM, supermarket, and self-service gasoline pump receipts behind where someone could pick them up.
- Don’t allow anyone to put your account number on a check or any other document not associated with a purchase on your account. (In some states, this is against the law.)
- Never give your account number to someone calling you on the phone, even if the caller says it will be used to claim a prize or award.
- Store your credit card and/or debit card in a secure place where you will immediately know if it is missing.
- Sign the back of your credit card and/or debit card in ink as soon as you receive it.
- Never leave your credit card and/or debit card as a “security deposit” or as identification. Instead, use your driver’s license.
- Never lend your credit card and/or debit card to anyone.
- When you are expecting a new or replacement credit card or debit card, look for it in the mail.
- Report a lost or stolen credit or debit card immediately by calling the institution or the number on the back of the card.
- Never carry your PIN in your wallet or write it on the back of your credit card or debit card, and never choose an obvious number (such as your birth date or telephone number) for your PIN.
- Routinely change the PIN for your debit card or ATM card.
- Monitor your accounts weekly to detect – and report – any unauthorized transactions.
- Review your credit bureau reports regularly. This may be the only way to identify if you are a victim of identity theft. An annual credit report can be view for free by visiting: annualcreditreport.com.
- Only carry the cards you intend to use. Leave the others at home in a safe place.
- Be aware of any skimming devices used at ATMs, Gas Stations, etc.
Identity theft occurs when someone else uses your name and social security number to set up false credit accounts, write bad checks and/or enter into contracts in order to defraud. In order for someone to do this they must have access to personal information such as name, social security number, address, date of birth etc. Unfortunately this information is not that hard to obtain these days. There are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Don’t put your social security number on your checks or any other papers that you may give out.
- Take inventory of the things you carry in your wallet. You may carry your Social Security card or have store credit cards you hardly ever use. These can be stolen and used before you even know they are missing. Check them on a monthly basis.
- The federal government has passed a law that allows you to check your credit rating once a year. Here is the link annualcreditreport.com or call toll free (877) 322-8228.
- When a wallet is stolen or your house broken into let us know immediately.
- Pay attention if you get a collection call from a company you've never heard of or if you get turned down for a loan. This may be the first indication someone else is using your name.
- Come see us, we will help you through the process
- Come in even if you aren’t sure, we won’t mind, we’d be relieved to tell you its nothing
- Once it is confirmed report it to the police
Are you following these day-to-day guidelines to keep your information secure?
Take a look at the Top 10 Security Dos and Donts!