46 percent of Americans were victims of credit card fraud last year, according to creditdonkey.com. Chances are, you may know someone in the past year that has been a victim, too. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to minimize your risk of having a compromised credit or debit card.
Sign the Back of Your Card
Add your signature to the back of your card the minute you receive a new one. If there is any doubt that you are the person purchasing in-store, the clerk can ask to see your ID, verifying that you are the original cardholder.
Destroy Receipts Older Than Six Months
The receipts you keep contain information like your last name and the last four digits of your credit or debit card. This is enough for scammers to use your card to make purchases, and bring up other information about yourself. After six months have passed, you can shred your receipts to ensure that no personal information gets leaked.
Don’t Provide Numbers Over the Phone Unless You Make the Call
If someone calls offering a new service, and simply needs a credit or debit card to put on file, don’t do it. Unless you initiate the call to a service provider, chances are it is a scam.
Avoid Signing Blank Receipts
If you notice that the receipt you sign is blank, ask for a copy with the total on it. If this is the only option, verify the amount you owe and write $0 or draw a line through blank spaces on the receipt.
Don’t Write Numbers on Envelopes
If you’re sending a bill through snail mail, never write your account or card number on an envelope. Think of all the places your bill has to go through before it goes to the carrier. If it gets in the wrong hands, it’ll be easy for someone to use your card.