Feliz Navi… scam? It's the best time of the year until someone steals your credit card information. According to the 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Holiday, 36% of Americans fell victim to online shopping scams during the holiday season.
When someone steals your credit card information to make purchases or open credit in your name, it is known as credit card fraud. Fraud can hurt your credit score and cause unnecessary bills and stress. Here's how to prevent credit card fraud from stealing your fun this holiday season.
1. Be careful
Monitoring your credit card is a good idea all year round, but essential during the holidays when scams and scams are rampant. understood. Life is busy and monitoring your account may not be at the top of your to-do list. Check your credit card statement at least once or twice a week during the holiday season. That way, you can spot and report fraud right away.
In 2021, 389,737 people reported credit card fraud [PDF], according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
2. Use a digital wallet
With a digital wallet, you may be able to safely use your credit cards this holiday season. You don't have to carry a physical card, so it's less likely to get lost. Add your credit card to a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay and use it to buy gifts for everyone on your list.
Since digital wallets encrypt and tokenize your card information, thieves have access to your data. Tokenization replaces your credit card number with a random number with each swipe. This means the merchant never sees the actual card number. If you lose your phone, thieves can't make purchases with your digital wallet without your passcode.
3. Be careful
You can avoid falling prey to scams by staying vigilant while on vacation. There are many ways thieves can steal your credit card information.
- Email PhishingEmail phishing scams receive emails that appear to come from a legitimate company, but steal your information when you click on links or attachments. How to spot a phishing email? Look for misspellings or mismatches in domain names or email addresses.
- Skimming. Card data can be stolen directly from ATMs and card readers. Some of the most common places where this occurs are gas pumps and vending machines. Always check the card vending machine before swiping, as skimming devices can be everywhere.
- In-Store Fraud.To limit the possibility of fraud, there are some best practices to follow when shopping in-store. If you apply for a store credit card at checkout, be sure to write down your social security number (don't say it out loud). Always be aware of your surroundings and cover when entering your PIN on the pad.
4. Consider credit freeze
< A credit freeze, sometimes called a security freeze, acts as a buffer against potential fraud. A credit freeze locks your credit report so that potential lenders cannot access it. This will prevent thieves from opening accounts in your name, but it will also make it harder for you to open an account yourself. , this process usually takes only a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can sign up for fraud alerts that creditors have to go to. We take extra steps to verify your identity when opening new credits. Fraud warnings are less annoying, but credit freezes provide more protection.
5. Shopping Online with a Virtual Card Number
Using a virtual credit card number is one of the best ways to protect yourself online. A virtual card number is linked to an existing credit card and replaced with a real card number for each online transaction. This gives you more control over who can access your card information and limits exposure in the event of a data breach.Citi and Capital One offer virtual account numbers on some credit cards .
6. Available Register for all security features
Credit cards have built-in security features, but they usually have additional benefits that must be manually registered. For example, Discover offers a free monitoring service that proactively checks accounts for signs of fraudulent activity. However, you must manually sign up to take advantage of this benefit. Always make sure your contact information is up-to-date so that your card issuer can contact you immediately in the event of fraudulent activity on your account.
Another way to stay ahead of fraud is to watch your credit. When reviewing your credit report, pay special attention to unusual things, such as:
- phone number
- credit card or loan account
- collection account
- judgment or Lien
One free credit report check for Experian, Equifax and TransUnion at AnnualCreditReport.com for one year. If you want to monitor your credit more frequently, many card issuers offer free credit monitoring, such as Capital One's CreditWise. Alternatively, you can sign up for free credit monitoring through a third-party app.
Your credit card information is What to do if your credit card information is stolen
Here are the steps you should take if your credit card information is compromised.
- Notify your card issuer. The first thing you should do is notify your card issuer online, by phone, or by mobile app. Many banks let you lock your card instantly with their mobile app, which can help in a pinch.
- Change your password.Victims of credit card fraud (and other identity theft) should update their passwords immediately. If you need help keeping track of your passwords, you can use a password manager like LastPass to generate unique passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, and characters.
- Dispute.If you notice suspicious activity on your credit report, file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau. For example, if Experian's credit report includes accounts that you don't recognize as yours, dispute her Experian online.
You can prevent fraud this holiday season by staying vigilant with your credit card account. You can minimize the possibility of fraud, but you cannot eliminate the risk. Familiarize yourself with the procedures for managing fraud so that you can act quickly when fraud occurs. Shopping during the holiday season can fall victim to credit card fraud, but taking a few extra precautions can help you enjoy the season.