5 Ways to Stop Credit Card Fraud During the Holidays

by John LeBlanc on November 29, 2010

The 2010 holiday season is finally here, and that means most of our wallets are about to feel quite a bit lighter thanks to all those sweet deals you see starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  In your haste to secure the best Christmas presents for your friends and family, you may be a little less careful about where you hand out your credit card info online and could end up spending more than you thought you were going to this year.

In the interest of helping you keep your dollars for more sensible purchases, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 ways to secure your credit card from fraud (both on and offline) so you know what to be on the lookout for.

1.Keep your cards close to you. Duh, this one’s pretty obvious.  You can do more to insure card security by only bringing cards that you intend to use when you head out for your holiday shopping.  Don’t leave your card lingering anywhere too long, like on a customer service counter or on a bar or restaurant table where they can be swooped up as soon as your back is turned.

2.Don’t give out your card information to just anyone. This one’s also a bit of a given, but still very important for keeping your finances from running off with someone else.  You should only give out your credit card number or other info out over the phone if you’re the one who placed the call – don’t fall for fraudsters who call you and pose as credit card issuers and then ask for your card number and account info.

3.Shred all of it. Any sort of documents that have your credit card numbers or account information on them should be shredded ASAP.  Once you’ve updated your records, don’t just toss your statements and bills into the trash for some thief to rifle through on garbage day.  Believe it or not, dumpster-diving is a pretty common practice among credit card fraudsters, so be sure to cut up any old cards you might be throwing out too.

4.Don’t click those links. Another method a lot of card thieves like to resort to is sending you emails posing as your bank, credit card company, or another other retailer you do business with online in an effort to get your account information.  Often, they’ll email you with some crucial change to your account with a link to their site.  Do yourself a favor and think twice before clicking any email links regarding your finances.

5.Report lost cards immediately. If you lose or misplace one of your credit cards, or it’s stolen from you, be sure to report it as soon as you discover it’s no longer in your possession to avoid the hassles of clearing up transactions that aren’t yours.

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