How to Avoid Fraud
by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger
Unfortunately, fraud can happen to almost anyone. Here a few ways to prevent it and what to do in case you are a victim of fraud.
1. Look for skimmers
A common way thieves retrieve information is by attaching a skimming device to the exterior of an ATM. Look there are any visible traces such as glue or scuff marks around the PIN pad or the place where you insert your card. A few seconds could prevent you from credit card fraud.
2. Banking online in public
Whether it’s at a café, or checking to see if you have enough for lunch during class, beware of logging into your bank account on a public wireless network.Hackers are capable of hacking into wireless networks and are able to intercept online transactions if you’re on a public network.
3. Responding to phishing messages
Most banks will not ask you to use your log in or account info over the phone, email or text. If you haven’t contacted your bank and you receive a message asking for information, stop to double check with the bank.
4. Not using fraud protection
Fraud protection is available for free by numerous card issuers. For example, Verified by Visa program allows Visa cardholders to use an additional password when they shop online.
What to do if you suspect you have been a victim of credit card fraud:
1. Contact your credit card company immediately
They will help you verify whether fraud has occurred and remove fraudulent charges. They can also close your card to prevent any further fraudulent transactions, and issue you a new card. The Federal Trade Commission says that you aren’t responsible for any charges made on a stolen account number after you report identity theft.
2. File a police report
The police department will probably not be able to help you figure out who did it, however, a police report is necessary to create an identity theft report to present to creditors. Report the fraud to the authorities, ask for a copy of the report, and keep it in safe place.
The idea of debit or credit card fraud can strike cold fear into even the most tech-savvy consumer. Once someone possesses your credit card or debit card number, you’re looking at a passel of phone calls to your card issuer, filling out police reports and possibly a delay before the issuer credits your account.
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