6 Tips For Protecting Your Credit/Debit Card Information

The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot provide defense against bank fraud charges in the Newark area.

There are many ways in which a criminal can get hold of your credit or debit card information. “Skimming” is a crime where the information contained on the card’s magnetic strip is reproduced via a device that scans and stores the card data. Lost or stolen cards might also end up in the wrong hands, and dishonest merchants might make unauthorized transactions using your card information. With all these threats to your financial stability, it’s important to protect your credit and debit cards. Here are some tips for keeping your card data safe.

  1. Pick A Secure Personal Identification Number (PIN)

The PIN you use to access your funds should stay between you and the ATM number pad. You should memorize it to avoid having to write it down, and you should use a random series of numbers rather than a birthday or another easily identifiable number sequence. Use different PINs for each card you have, and change them immediately if you suspect any unwanted access to your account(s).

  1. Read Your Billing Statements

Carefully read your billing statements to check for suspicious or unfamiliar activity on your cards. As soon as you identify an unauthorized charge to your account, alert your card issuer. The sooner you identify and report fraud on your accounts, the more likely it is that you can keep from paying for unauthorized charges and help the company or bank protect against fraud in the future.

  1. Keep Track Of Your Mail

Track reissued cards through the mail, and alert your issuer if you never receive them. Cards in transit are just as vulnerable to fraud schemes as cards in your wallet. Your mailbox should also be secure. The only people who need access to your mailbox are you and the postal worker who delivers your mail.

  1. Properly Handle Receipts And Other Paperwork

Credit card receipts and pre-approved credit card offers should be torn up or shredded prior to being thrown away, and billing statements should be kept in a private, secure place such as a locking filing cabinet or a document safe.

  1. Be Safe When Shopping Online

When shopping online, only provide your credit or debit card information if the website is secure. Secure websites can be identified a couple of ways. First, if the URL begins with “https” instead of “http,” then the webpage is secure. Second, a secure webpage will display a lock icon (looks like a tiny padlock) somewhere within the browser window. In a Chrome window, for example, the lock icon displays just to the left of the URL.

  1. Don’t Share Your Card Data

Never share your credit or debit card information with anyone no matter who they say they are. Certain phone schemes and email phishing schemes are designed to trick you into giving up sensitive financial information. Be cautious when sharing card information with friends and family members. Try not to leave your card with anyone, even if you think you can trust them, and avoid writing the number down.

Defending NJ and NY residents who are facing charges for this and other types of bank fraud is just a small part of our law practice at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot. Contact our offices today if you need defense for a bank fraud charge in the Newark area.