Credit Card Security Advice
Credit Card Security Advice
Credit cards are very useful to have and to use. And many of us use them often, sometimes even daily. We use them for online purchases, local businesses and even for paying bills over the phone. There is no doubting the convenience of using credit cards. However, with so many credit cards in use, crooks have many opportunities to steal the information and commit credit card fraud. Many people fear that they will be a victim of such crime, and for good reason! It is a very real threat indeed. Happily, however, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself if you are ever the unfortunate victim of credit card crime.
For instance, if someone ever steals your credit card, you should quickly call your credit card company and tell them what has happened. It is a good idea to store the phone number of your credit card company in a place where you can easily find it in the case of an emergency. When you call them to report the theft, they can deactivate your card so that the crook cannot use it to make purchases. Generally, you will not be held responsible for fraudulent purchases made with your credit card.
Another useful thing to do when your card is stolen is to call the credit reporting agencies. If you let them know what has happened, they can put a fraud alert on your account. If a fraud alert is on your account, thieves cannot open any additional accounts under your name. TransUnion is one credit reporting agency you can call (1-800-680-7289). Another one is Equifax (1-800-525-6285).
Documenting the status of your credit is also important. Each of the major credit bureaus will give you one free copy of your credit report each year. but if there is a fraud alert on your account, they may give you an additional copy free, even if you have already requested your free copy for the year. It is important to have proof of your credit standing before the fraudulent activity has been reported.
And even though it may seem like a lot of work, filing a full identity theft report is a wise thing to do. The first part of these two part report can be filled out by going to your local police station. The second part will probably need to be filled out with a consumer reporting agency.
Hopefully, your credit card information will never be compromised. But if you should become the victim of fraud, these tips will help you take control of the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Author Mark Mahaffey is a security expert who can teach you how to keep yourself safe from crime. To learn more about credit card security as well as home and business security in San Diego, visit his site.