We all know credit cards scams are out there, and lately, it may seem like fraud is a rampant problem. How can you make sure your cards stay safe? Luckily, security experts and law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for the newest trends in credit and debit card theft. They’ve identified four important new ways to protect yourself, and we've outlined them below.
While some of these tips may seem like common sense, others may strike you as surprising. Share the knowledge with your friends and loved ones so they too can avoid any troublesome run-ins with card scammers.
How to Prevent Credit Card Scams
1.Skip unmanned self-checkout lanes. While some self-checkout registers have a clerk standing by, those that are completely unmanned give thieves ample opportunity to attach card skimmers — devices that copy your info — without being detected.
2. Stick to the safest gas pumps. Statistics show there’s been a steep spike in the number of skimming devices being attached to gas pumps. To protect yourself, use only the pumps that are in full view of the station attendant, which thieves avoid so they’re not caught.
3. Shield your card in the store. Avoid taking your credit or debit card out until your order is rung up, then put it away right after swiping. Some scammers use a cell-phone to snap a photo of your card, then watch to see what PIN you punch in if you use a debit card. With that info, they can immediately start charging thousands of dollars in merchandise online.
4. Review online accounts weekly. Nowadays, thieves often charge small amounts on your cards. That way, by the time your monthly statement comes, you’ve forgotten what you’ve spent and assume the extra charges are yours. Luckily, spotting this irregular usage is super-easy: Review your accounts online once a week rather than waiting for your statement so that week’s buys are fresh in your mind.