Is someone abusing your credit card? Here’s what you can do to prevent credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is one of the most common types of identity theft, stemming from the theft of credit cards and card information via compromised e-commerce websites, bad security practices and data breaches.
The US is a leading hub for credit card fraud, accounting for about 40% of all reported fraud losses in the world. According to recent statistics, about 80% of US credit cards found in circulation today are compromised.
Here are the top ways fraudsters and cybercriminals gain access to your credit card information:
- By using a credit card skimmer
- Stealing your wallet or purse
- Phishing attacks via email and text or impostor phone calls (fishing)
- Fake banking websites, compromised websites and data breaches
Fraud doesn’t just hurt you financially, it can also affect your mental health. Many victims report depression or feelings of powerlessness and stress.
Telltale signs of credit card fraud or compromise include:
- You see strange purchases on your bank statement
- Small charges appear on your credit card statement
- Your credit line is diminished
- Payments made using your credit card are rejected
- A collection agency or creditors contact you about unknown debt
How to protect your credit card information and financial data
- Review your credit card statements regularly
- Don’t use your credit card in ATMs that look like they’ve been tampered with
- Never provide your credit card information via unsolicited emails, phone calls or instant messaging apps
- Look out for notifications of data breaches that jeapordize your personal data so you can take action immediately
- Shred copies of credit card statements and close unused credit card accounts
- Check your credit report
- Immediately report stolen or lost credit cards
- Install a security solution on your devices and use a VPN when connecting to public WIFI, traveling, banking or shopping
- Stick to trustworthy websites when purchasing goods and make sure that the address bar reads “HTTPS”
Steps you need to take if you’ve fallen victim to credit card fraud
- Alert your financial institution and credit card
- Place a fraud alert on all your financial accounts to let creditors undertake additional checks and precautions when extending your credit
- File a report with the FTC and police to help with your recovery plan
How Bitdefender can help
There’s no end to data breaches and cyberattacks aimed at stealing personal and financial information from internet users. Bitdefender offers comprehensive security and privacy plans that cater to all your digital needs. Our Ultimate Security plans (for US only) protect up to 10 devices with state-of-the-art technologies that predict, prevent and remediate new and existing cyber threats whether you’re at home or on the go. They also offer unlimited VPN traffic and a cross-platform Password Manager.
Subscribers to our ultimate mega-suite also benefit from identity theft protection with real-time fraud monitoring, data breach monitoring, credit report monitoring, fraud alerts, credit freeze and lost wallet assistance, and an insurance policy of up to $2 million, among many other features to protect against identity theft crimes and fraud.
If you’re a non-US internet user who needs help monitoring and protecting their digital identity, check out Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection service –- a privacy-focused tool that hunts down exposed personal data online to help you stay on top of security and privacy threats with 24/7 data breach monitoring and advice to help you prevent any financial damages.
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