According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit card fraud accounts for approximately 17% of identity theft. Making purchases with a credit card is efficient, but it always comes with risks. Taking precautions to protect your credit card information is essential to avoiding becoming a victim of credit card scams.

What is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud occurs when someone takes your credit card information and uses it to make purchases. These scams can plunge you into an unfair amount of debt and even ruin your credit score if the thief manages to take out loans in your name. Many thieves acquire credit card information by stealing the cards, but some credit card scams will trick you into giving away your information without realizing. Follow these steps for credit card protection to keep your accounts safe from thieves.

Never give out your credit card number to someone you don’t trust.

Governments, banks, and reputable businesses never demand that you make an unexpected payment immediately to settle a debt or claim a prize. Prepaid reloadable cards, like MoneyPak, are vulnerable to these kinds of scams. Common MoneyPak scams involve scammers impersonating someone you may a trust—a government employee, an employer, or a debt collector—and asking for a payment using a MoneyPak card. Credit card scams follow similar steps of tricking you into providing your information based on fear of ramifications or the belief that you are receiving something in return. Unless you have experience with the business and can verify that the person asking for a payment is a reputable representative, never provide your credit card information without being certain that it is secure.


Verify the websites you use before you enter your information.

Credit card scammers can mimic the look of your bank’s website or an online shop in order to trick you into entering your credit card information. Always be certain that the website’s URL is exactly what you expect it to be and that the page is secure when providing your credit card number online. Identity thieves may send e-mails linking to a page that asks for your credit card information to log in or verify your account. To prevent accidentally giving your credit card number to a scam artist, double-check the websites you are using and never save your account information to the website.


Review and shred your statements and bills.

Looking over your credit card statements consistently ensures that you will see any irregularities before they become a problem. Always save your receipts to compare with your statement. Any purchases that you cannot find proof of making could point to credit card fraud. If you receive paper statements every month, shred them when you are finished and dispose of them carefully. Any document containing your credit card information could be dangerous if it fells into the hands of a credit card scammer.


Report any suspicious activity to your card issuer.

If anything on your credit card statement looks unusual, call your card issuer immediately to report it. Some credit card companies have fraud detection, but it is not always reliable. The longer the charges go unnoticed, the more damage credit card scams can do to your finances.


Have credit card debt? Consider selling your structured settlements

The impact of a credit card scam is often the burden of significant debt. Paying off that debt takes time, especially if you do not have the funds to cover the fraudulent charges. Novation Settlement Solutions can help you sell your structured settlement or annuity so that you are not held back by credit card fraud. To discuss your options, call 1-855-610-1849 or use our online form today.