Hey everyone and thank you for joining me for this week’s Friday Finance with Josh! Just in case you’re new here, my name’s Joshua Rodriguez and I write about all types of fun personal finance topics here. Today, I’m going to write a bit about a pretty scary concept, credit card fraud. The truth is, we as human beings are no strangers to fraud! Even the first currencies made of metals were counterfeited, it’s just part of life. Unfortunately, there are only so many bright crayons in the box!
That being said, even though currencies have changed over time, the simple fact remains, fraud still exists! As a matter of fact, due to the ease of online identity theft, it seems to happen more now than ever before. But, the good news is, there are ways that you can protect yourself from your account numbers being stolen. And, they are not only free but, they’re pretty simple! As long as you do 3 things consistently, you can be 99.9% sure that you aren’t the next credit card fraud victim and, that if you are, you will catch it quickly enough for it not to affect your finances!
#1 Credit Card Fraud Protection Measure – Keep An Eye On Your Accounts
Being concerned with credit card fraud is one thing but, missing the dates on reporting it is an entirely new animal. However, if you actively keep an eye on your accounts, you can be sure to report the fraud within the 6 month period that most credit cards allow. It’s pretty simple. Once a week, all you need to do is log in to your account or accounts online and read each line of purchases. If you see something that doesn’t seem familiar, it’s time to report it. I’ll teach you more about reporting credit card fraud below!
#2 Credit Card Fraud Protection Measure – Be Careful Online
Credit card fraud does happen through face to face transactions, however, it is far more likely when it comes to online transactions. The good news is, we have tools that protect us online. As a matter of fact, protection of personal information is the reason SSL Security Certificates were created. These certificates certify that the information entered into a page will only go to the parties the information was intended for and that information hijackers will have a hard time breaking the code to the page. It’s pretty easy to tell if a page has an SSL Security Certificate, all you need to do is look at the beginning of the URL. If it starts with http: the page you are on is not secure. However, if it starts in https: the page you are on has a valid SSL Security Certificate.
#3 Credit Card Fraud Protection Measure – Report Credit Card Fraud Early
If you’re checking your accounts regularly and keeping a close eye on your purchases, it will be pretty easy to notice anything out of place quickly. Which is great because when fraud happens, it often happens again. If you notice a purchase that you didn’t make, you should report it to your credit card lender right away. To do so, all you need to do is call the 800 customer service phone number on the back of your card. When a representative asks how they can help you, all you need to do is say that you would like to speak to the fraud department and answer the questions that they ask about the fraudulent charge. The lender will automatically credit your account for the amount in most cases and start an investigation.
Credit card fraud is unfortunate but, it does happen. The good news is, it’s pretty simple to protect yourself and, it’s free. All you need to do is take proactive steps to ensure that your information is safe. I hope that you enjoyed this week’s Friday Finance with Josh. If you have any questions or concerns about what was said here today, please feel free to email me directly at Joshua@CNAFinance.com!