Each year, millions of Americans are victims of some sort of identity theft. It could be full blown identity theft or it could be credit card fraud. In either case, it could be a headache to deal with and could end up costing the person quite a bit of time and money to straighten out in the end. There’s no foolproof way to prevent this type of fraud, but there are quite a few steps a person can take to protect their own identity and prevent thieves from creating credit cards in their name.
Guard Personal Information
Personal information should never be given out unless the person knows who they’re speaking to and why it’s needed. If a company or bank calls them, they should avoid giving out any personal information as they can’t be certain it’s really the company or bank calling. They should also be very careful with the information that comes to their home through the mail and should shred it when it’s no longer needed so it cannot be found by someone else.
Guard Online Information
Online information needs to be guarded carefully as well. Long passwords with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols are best as they’re more difficult to figure out. They should not write down the passwords or share them with anyone so no one can access their personal accounts.
Monitor Bank Accounts for Suspicious Activity
It’s important for a person to carefully monitor their bank accounts so they’ll know if there are any transactions that they didn’t make. If they do not monitor their accounts carefully, it could be possible for a person to take a little bit at a time without the person noticing. If the small transactions aren’t noticed, the thief is likely going to try a much bigger one.
Monitor Credit Report Regularly
A person can obtain a free copy of their credit report from all three reporting agencies once per year. This allows them to check it to make sure there are no new accounts opened up. If they see anything they don’t recognize, they can quickly take the necessary steps to take care of the credit card fraud.
Use a Credit Freeze
If a person is worried their information has already been stolen, they can initiate a credit freeze. Essentially, this makes it more difficult for any credit to be opened in their name. This extra step to gain any credit can be more difficult for the person when they want to open a new credit card on their own, but it makes it much more difficult for a thief to open anything in their name.
The number of times thieves use credit card fraud to gain extra money is on the rise, but it doesn’t have to be. There are steps a person can take to protect their own identity and prevent fraud. Even though there is no foolproof method that works all of the time, the above tips can help a person with credit card fraud prevention and can help them protect their identity so they have a significantly lower chance of being a victim. With the right protections, the chance of fraud can be reduced to almost zero.