Monitoring your credit card activity on a regular basis will help keep you on top of what’s happening in your accounts. In addition to any credit monitoring that your creditor may have in place, by keeping a watchful eye on your accounts, you might notice any odd charges early on and can react quickly to stop any fraud.
Credit card crooks have many ways to access their victim’s credit card information, including through unsolicited phone calls. By not providing your credit card information over the phone, you’re diminishing your chances of being their next victim.
While no website is 100 percent safe, there are two general indications that a site is secure. A closed padlock near the site’s browser indicates that a site is secure. To double check this security feature, click on or hover over the icon. It should be an actual working link that provides information on the security of the website. The second way to tell is by looking at the URL. If the URL begins with http it is not secure. If it begins with https, it generally is secure.
If you have lost or misplaced your credit card, be sure to contact your creditor immediately. Whether you have actually lost it or believe you may have misplaced it, notifying your creditor puts them on alert and allows them to help you verify the last few charges that were made and see any unauthorized charges that may be pending approval.
Phishing attacks use “spoofed” emails and fraudulent websites designed to get recipients to divulge personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account user names and passwords, Social Security numbers, etc. If you receive an email from your financial institution, a retailer, government agency or other business asking that you contact them immediately, do not respond to them through the email you received. Instead, contact the company directly or visit their website using a URL that you know to be accurate.
Review your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion —to ensure everything is accurate. You are entitled to one free credit report each year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com for more information.