We all want to keep our credit card info out of the wrong hands, but sometimes we don’t take the highest security precautions. Or, well, any precautions really. Here are five of the easiest steps you can take to help keep your credit cards safe â€” not to mention avoid the hassle of having to cancel your card and update all your recurring bill payments.
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1. Sign your card.
A thief can easily add his or her own version of your signature to a lost or stolen card you didn’t bother to sign. Don’t make it easy for him.
2. Never lend your credit card to someone else.
Your credit card is only for your personal use, and it should never be loaned to anyone under any circumstances. If you do need a friend, relative, spouse, or employee to make a purchase on your behalf, you can make that person an authorized user on your account.
3. Keep your statements safe.
The statements you receive in the mail each month contain your credit card number and other pieces of valuable information that could be used maliciously. To keep that information secure, be sure to store your statements in a safe place, and shred them before you dispose of them. Never leave your statements visible in your workplace or in your vehicle. Even better? Opt for digital statements.
4. Don’t buy anything from an unsolicited phone call.
One of the ways that criminals can obtain credit card information is by calling cardholders and posing as merchants. The call may sound legitimate, and the product or service being offered may also appear to be worthwhile, but you have no way of identifying the caller. According to the Federal Trade Commission, common phone scams include claims that you have been specially selected for an offer, or that you will receive something for free, but only if you act now. 1
6. Be careful with recurring payments.
Sometimes criminals take the long view, charging your card month after month for a small amount they hope you won’t notice. Scan your credit card report each month for any purchases you at merchant names you don’t recognize.
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