How to Protect Your Credit
The best way to protect your credit is to take an active role in maintaining responsibility for it – spend and make payments wisely, and never compromise the security of your card or identity.
Minimize Your Risk of Fraud.
Credit Card Fraud is a crime which occurs when someone obtains key pieces of information such as your identification card number, your credit card number, your credit card’s PIN number or some other piece of your personal information and uses them for his or her own gain.
Often victims of fraud are unaware of what has happened until they notice something's not right: they receive bills for a credit card account they never opened, their credit report lists unknown debts; a card billing cycle passes without receiving a statement; or charges that they didn’t sign for, didn’t authorize, and don’t know anything about appear on their statement.
Victims are left with the complicated task of restoring their credit and their good names.
Outsmart the thieves.
- Safeguard your credit card.
- Sign on your credit card immediately after you receive it.
- Keep your credit card in the same place in your wallet or purse so that you will notice it immediately if it is lost or stolen.
- Do not lend your credit card to anyone.
- Do not provide your credit card details to an unknown party.
- Do not write down your PIN number on the back of your credit card or keep it in your wallet. Always memorise you PIN instead.
- Keep the telephone number of your credit card issuer so that you can immediately report lost or stolen cards, unauthorised transaction or disclosure of PIN to a third party.
- Cut your expired credit cards into two when you get a new one.
- Check your credit card transactions to avoid unauthorised transactions.
- Check all details on the charge slip before signing or confirming the transaction.
- Keep all your charge slips and check it against your credit card statement as soon as you receive it.
- Notify your credit card issuer immediately of any error or possible unauthorised transactions and follow up in writing as soon as possible.
- Destroy all your charge slips before throwing them away.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time.
- Guard your mail from theft. Don’t leave mail unattended or unsecured in a mailbox and shred discarded mail that contains personal information.
- Put passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts. whenever possible.
- Be protective of your personal information. Be cautious when giving out your credit card number, address, or other personal information. When possible, only share this information when you know you are dealing with a reputable organization.
- Protect your personal information in your home. Tear or shred documents like charge receipts, copies of credit offers and applications, insurance forms, doctor’s statements, discarded bank checks and statements, and expired credit cards before you throw them away.
- Keep your personal identification information; PIN number, and passwords secured at all times.
- Confirm online purchases are secure. Look for clues such as a lock and key at the bottom corner of your browser, a URL that begins https://, or the words Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
- Avoid using your card as ID. Thieves can use this information to assume your identity and open bank accounts, make purchases, obtain cash, and even get a job or apartment. However, some merchants require a credit card as a secondary form of ID. Only use your credit card at recognized and reputable merchants.
Get the big picture on how to protect your credit.
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