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Protecting Your Credit/Debit Cards

What is Credit/Debit Card Fraud?

Most credit/debit card fraud involves lost or stolen cards. Criminals can get your cards by stealing your wallet, burglarizing your home, or even paying store employees for card data and reselling that data on the black market to other criminals. Card thieves don't need the physical card to commit fraud. All they need is the information shown on the card so they can create generic cards with that information. Your debit/credit card numbers are a confidential piece of information and you should guard it vigilantly.

Credit/Debit Card Safety Measures

  • Never give your card number, personal identification number (PIN), or password to anyone, especially to strangers or telemarketers who contact you by phone. Be wary of a tantalizing offer or prize that requires you to give out your card number or related account information.
  • Never write your PIN or password directly on your credit card or debit card.
  • Keep the card company’s phone numbers for reporting your cards lost or stolen at home, in your purse or wallet, and at your office, so that you are always prepared to call immediately necessary.
  • Always confirm that you get your card back after you make a purchase. 
  • Store your cards and related records in a safe place that would not be obvious to burglars.
  • Always sign your card with a permanent ink pen as soon as you receive it.
  • Consider having your picture placed on the card for additional identity protection.
  • Never lend your card to someone else to make a purchase; handle the transaction yourself. 
  • Shred all card receipts, related records, and any pre-approved credit card offers you receive before you discard them.
  • When you use your card online, make sure you are using a secure Web site. Look for a small key or lock symbol to confirm that the site is encrypted.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and those around you when inputting your PIN or password at an ATM machine. Be sure the ATM machine does not appear to be physically altered before swiping your card.