Fraud is on the rise. Crooks see vulnerable prey in uneducated consumers.
Don’t be a victim.
A thief goes through trash to find discarded receipts and then uses your account numbers, illegally. A dishonest clerk makes an extra imprint from your credit or debit card and uses it to make personal charges.
You respond to a mailing asking you to call a long distance number for a free trip or bargain-priced travel package. You’re told you must join a travel club first and you are asked for your account number so that you can be charged. The catch...charges you didn’t start appearing on your statement, and you never get your trip. Credit and debit card fraud costs cardholder and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. It’s not always possible to prevent credit or debit card fraud from happening. But there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for a crook to capture your card or card numbers and minimize possibility.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from credit or debit card fraud:
- Think of a debit card as a blank check
- If you believe your credit or debit card has been lost or stolen, report it immediately.
- Refrain from writing down the PIN number
- Avoid giving credit or debit card numbers to telemarketers
- Be wary of merchants who swipe your card twice, using two different devices.
If you have any questions or concerns you should contact your credit union or credit card provider.
Spoofing or “Phishing” fraud is on the rise. A perpetrator will send an e-mail that looks as if it is a trusted web site, and leads you to believe it is safe and secure, when really it is the exact opposite. They then ask you to give personal or financial information about yourself. This can lead them to be able to commit bank or credit card fraud.
FBI Offers Tips on How to Protect Yourself
- If you encounter an unsolicited e-mail that asks you for personal financial or identity information, such as Social Security number, passwords, or other identifiers, exercise extreme caution.
- If you need to update your information online, use the normal process you've used before, or open a new browser window and type in the website address of the legitimate company's account maintenance page.
- If a website address is unfamiliar, it's probably not real. Only use the address that you have used before, or start at your normal homepage.
- Always report fraudulent or suspicious e-mail to your Internet Service Provider.
- Most companies require you to log in to a secure site. Look for the lock at the bottom of your browser and "https" in front of the website address.
- Take note of the header address on the web site. Most legitimate sites will have a relatively short internet address that usually depicts the business name followed by ".com," or possibly ".org." Spoof sites are more likely to have an excessively long strong of characters in the header, with the legitimate business name somewhere in the string, or possibly not at all.
- If you have any doubts about an e-mail or website, contact the legitimate company directly. Make a copy of the questionable web site's URL address, send it to the legitimate business and ask if the request is legitimate.
- If you've been victimized, you should contact your local police or sheriff's department, and file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center.