Credit cards have been very commonplace that identity theft has also become one of the most common crimes being done today. The severity of this problem has blown out of proportion and hundreds of millions to billions of dollars each year are being stolen because of this.
The US Congress has put up laws to curb the rise of identity theft but it hasn’t made a major dent yet. While we have laws that help us in becoming victims and also punish those caught committing them, it is also up to us to protect ourselves from identity theft. And one of the most effective and easiest way to do this is by protecting our credit cards.
One sordid fact that the US Federal Trade Commission have released to the public is that victims of Identity theft can take an average of a year before they even know that they have been taken by identity thieves. So by the time a person realizes this, he or she may already be deep in debt.
It’s not the time though to panic. Identity theft can be curbed and prevented. All you have to do is to ensure that your credit card and your credit card information is not known to just anyone. There are very simple precautions one can do to ensure the safety of your credit card.
First off, always know where your cards are. If possible, don’t go shopping with a number of cards with you, this may create confusion. Only take a card that you will be suing with you. When paying with your card, never let it out of your sight. Make sure that your card will be charged in your plain view. Some people may copy the information as well as the all important security number at the back of the card and use it over the internet.
Memorize your PIN (Personal identification Number) and don’t trust anybody with it. People may use your credit card to withdraw money. So if you have received your credit card make sure to memorize it and quickly destroy the paper where it is written. Also, make sure not to write down your PIN and store it in your wallet. Your credit card and the PIN should never be together, in case you lost your wallet, the person who finds it would find a hard time using it without the PIN. Make sure to report a stolen or lost credit card immediately, this will prevent it from being used by anyone.
Also, be wary of emails that will ask you for your credit card details and information. This is called phishing, there are a number of scammers in the internet who would use email as a means to scam you out of your hard earned money. You may think that the email came from reputable establishment or financial institution offering great deals but they may just be from these scamming people. Make sure to delete this type of email and never provide information to it.
One great way to check if you are already a victim of identity theft is by checking your credit report once in a while. This is no problem since it can be done online and it is also free. You can find a number of websites which can provide you with this information. So be on your guard and protect your identity by protecting your credit card.