Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

You go out to the mailbox to get your mail. You have received a bill you don't recognize. It is for a credit card you don't have. You open the bill. The card is in your name but you didn't make the hundreds of dollars of charges that are listed. This is credit card fraud. It is happening more and more lately. How can you protect yourself?

First, invest in a paper shredder. Next, take a look at all those credit card offers you get in the mail each week. If you are like most people, you get plenty of them. You should shred any offer you are not going to accept, especially ones you are "pre-approved" for. This way, no one can find this offer and get a credit card in your name. This will protect your credit rating. You should also shred anything that has your credit card number on it along with those "instant checks" your company sends you.

When you receive a new card in the mail, sign it immediately. Make sure you call and activate it before you use it. Instructions for this will be written on the paper your new card is attached to. This will help keep someone else from using your card. If your card comes with a PIN (personal identification number), memorize it right away. Never write it on the card or keep it in your wallet. If someone finds your PIN and your card, they can use it without your permission.

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