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How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud
According to the National Fraud Information Center, credit card fraud in the U.S. takes an annual toll of slightly under $1 billion a year. But who pays the pricetag? We all do, in the form of higher finance charges, annual fees, and costs for law enforcement.
Con artists commit fraud by stealing and selling credit cards, using counterfeit cards, and operating mail order and telemarketing scams. Some thieves raid mailboxes and trash cans to find credit cards and account numbers. And some clever scam artists get this information through electronic eavesdropping and other high-tech means.
Although credit card companies are working to design more counterfeit-proof cards, you still need to take some simple precautions to outsmart con artists and avoid becoming another victim of fraud.
Protect Your Credit Card
Susie Sneak is an expert at robbing consumers' mail boxes for credit cards that have not yet been signed by their owners. She simply signs the owner's name on the card and heads for the shopping mall. The next day, she throws the card away and looks for another one.
Guard Your Credit Card Number
Gary Gullible received a phone call from a woman promoting discount vacation packages. All she needed was his credit card number and expiration date, she said, to include him in a 'special deal' for a Hawaiian vacation. Gary found out the offer was phony when he never received his airline tickets although his credit card was charged for them.
Use Your Card Wisely
Harried Helen was holiday shopping when her wallet was stolen from her purse. She didn't realize until she got home that all ten of her credit cards had been stolen. She was sorry she hadn't left home the eight cards she rarely uses.
Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372