Don’t Be A Target: How To Protect Your Credit Card During The Holidays

Don’t Be A Target: How To Protect Your Credit Card During The Holidays

Black Friday data breach will make a very UN-Merry Christmas for over 40 million customers as discount retailer TARGET becomes a target for credit card thieves.

Over 40 million TARGET customers were targeted in a major hacking that compromised accounts from all major credit card companies. Media giant, CNN, reported that cards used in Target’s brick-and-mortar stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, may have been impacted. Although, this is nearly impossible to protect yourself from these kinds of attacks; consistent monitoring of your bank and credit card accounts can alert you of unauthorized purchases.

Incorporating a few practices into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe. For example, keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud for each company in a secure place. Don’t lend your card to anyone — even your kids or roommates — and don’t leave your cards, receipts, or statements around your home or office. When you no longer need them, shred them before throwing them away.

Other fraud protection practices include:

1. Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.

2. Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.

3. Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. And carry only the card you need for that outing.

4. During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.

5. Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.

6. Save your receipts to compare with your statement.

7. When using public ATMs and paying at gas pumps, make sure to “shake” the card reader before inserting card. Thieves often make mock readers and place them over ATM and gas pumps to “steal” credit card numbers and PINs. If the reader jiggles or is not secure, DO NOT insert your card! Alert store or bank if possible.

8. Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.

9. Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.

10. Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.

11. Don’t write your account number on the outside of an envelope.

For more information regarding credit card protection, please read “Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud” by U.S. Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0216-protecting-against-credit-card-fraud

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