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Nothing will totally prevent you from being a victim of Debit/Credit Card fraud. The number of consumers falling victim to fraud increases every day. However, you can lessen your risk of fraud by following some simple steps:
- Do not make it a habit to carry all your credit and debit cards in your wallet. Only carry the card you use on a daily basis.
- If you use debit cards, take advantage of online banking to check your account activity regularly.
- Report any sign of fraud to LNB/CNB immediately. The sooner you notice any fraud, and report it, the less negative impact it may have.
- When using debit/credit cards in stores or restaurants, be aware of how they are being handled. Pay close attention to how the cards are swiped by the clerk or waiter. Do not leave your card with the bartender to run a tab. Criminal employees may use a device called a skimmer to swipe the card and copy your account information.
- Be very careful when using your debit or credit card online. Always shop at well established sites and make sure the site is secure. Look for the padlock symbol on the lower right hand side of the screen when checking out.
- Do not give out any personal information over the phone, or email. Only give information if you have an established trusting relationship with the person/company.
- Do not write your entire credit card number on your checks. Only write the last four numbers in the memo line.
- If you are anticipating the arrival of a new credit card in the mail, keep an eye on your mail box. If it does not arrive in reasonable time, contact the card company.
- Request a credit report at least once a year. You have the right to one free credit report each year from the three credit bureaus. Look for any signs of fraudulent activity. Look for new accounts that you did not open or request and any unusual activity.
- Businesses who use debit or credit cards for daily expenses should be especially cautious, as consumer protection regulations do not protect businesses against unauthorized debit or credit card purchases.
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com for your free credit reports.
With some basic fraud precautions and some common sense you can prevent, or at least decrease your chances of becoming a victim.
If you feel your personal information has been stolen you should call the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert in your file.
Equifax - 1-877-576-5734
Experian - 1-888-397-3742
Transunion - 1-800-680-7289