How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

protect yourself from credit card fraud Credit card fraud has been in the news recently and is a growing threat to consumer bank accounts globally. The following are several tips to help protect yourself from Credit Card Fraud.

Avoid Using ATMs in Tourist Areas

Tourist areas are popular places for thieves because there are large numbers of travelers that need to access ATMs for cash.  You’ll want to examine the ATM reader to see if there are stickers placed near the reader or the reader slot looks like it may have been tampered with.  Another common way skimmers try to get your information is with video cameras installed above the keypad.  If you think an ATM may have been tampered with, your best bet is to use an ATM inside a local bank.

Never Make Purchases Using Public Wi-fi

Never use public wi-fi to make purchases or share financial or personal information.  Public wifi is a popular method for stealing bank and credit card information.  Thieves typically setup a wi-fi hotspot at a popular location like coffee shops or fast food restaurants and begin collecting information from unsuspecting wifi users when they connect to the bogus wifi hotspot.  Some tips to be safe with public wi-fi are to turn off auto-connect and connect manually, and only connect to internet sites that use encryption or begin with https: in the url address. 

Monitor Your Bank and Credit Card Accounts

Checking your bank statements regularly is one of the easiest ways to catch unauthorized charges.  Better yet, download and install your bank’s mobile app on your smartphone and monitor your accounts in real-time.  If you happen to see questionable charges, contact your bank immediately and report the transactions. When checking your accounts, know what fraud you would be liable for. For example, federal law limits your liability for credit card fraud that occurs after you report the loss of your card.

Use a credit card with EMV chip technology

Credit cards equipped with new EMV chip technology adds an extra layer of protection for consumers over traditional magnetic strip cards.  At EMV equipped point of sale (POS) terminals, the consumer simply inserts their credit card into the terminal and unique data is generated every time the consumer uses their credit card. 

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