This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chase. All opinions are 100% mine.
Credit card fraud is all around us and is not something to be taken lightly. With the help of new technology, updated banking options, and fraud alerts, being able to prevent credit card fraud is more doable than ever! Use these five simple tips for fraud protection this holiday season.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been terrible at these things in the past. But after having someone fraudulently file a tax return as me and having our credit card numbers stolen a couple of times now, I’m no longer in the “it won’t happen to me” camp and smack dab in the center of the “it happened to me, this stuff is real” camp.
There are people out there just waiting for you to slip up or to not pay attention. Scary, right? The holiday season is a time when everyone is busy and doing a ton of online shopping – it’s also a time when we all need to be the most careful because it is so easy to make a mistake. These five simple tips can help you prevent credit card fraud.
Tips to for Fraud Protection
#1 – Review Your Credit Card Account Regularly
I’m an auto-pay girl. If it’s not setup for automatic payments, I often just forget to pay my credit card (or any bill really) on time. But having things set up on auto pay doesn’t just mean I can set it and forget it. Get online or use your bank’s mobile app for easy access. You still need to regularly monitor your credit card accounts for charges you don’t recognize. And don’t just look for big charges, look for the little ones, too.
Sometimes fraudsters start with small charges to see if the credit card numbers they stole work and then move on to larger purchases. Little things like donating $1.00 to the RV Hall of Fame, which apparently is a real thing. And that was really what someone charged on my credit card to test out a stolen number.
I just happened to see the random charge when I was checking my account and after about an hour of researching to make sure it wasn’t a donation I made, something my husband did, or some other legit purchase, we ended up having to cancel our credit card and receive a new one. I was lucky because all they did was charge the $1.00 donation, but if I hadn’t been monitoring my account regularly, who knows what they would have purchased. I’m also lucky enough to have a Chase credit card so even if they did purchase something big, once I reported the fraudulent charges, I wouldn’t have been held responsible for that money thanks to Zero Liability Protection.
#2 – Set Up Fraud Protection Alerts
Whoever your credit card provider is, contact them to set up fraud protection alerts. One of the coolest things about our Chase card is that anytime Chase thinks there might be a fraudulent charge on your card, they’ll immediately contact me to ask whether or not you made that charge.
To set up alerts, you just go onto their website to determine how you want to sign up for alerts, set up what type of notifications you want, and make sure your contact info is all up to date. I have them set up to send me a text and/or email, so I can get it one way or another depending on if I’m working, or out and about. It’s also a good idea to let them know if you’re traveling, so you don’t have to deal with fraud alerts for legit purchases because you’re in another state or country.
If you get a fraud alert, all you have to do is tell them it’s an approved charge or not by replying to the text/email. And unlike other experiences I’ve had with cards being “frozen,” it lets you finish out your transaction as soon as you’ve confirmed the charge. I’ve literally been buying groceries on a trip, received a text to approve, and finished paying within a minute or two. Learn more about how Chase can protect you against fraud.
#3 – Shred Important Documents and Go Paperless
Shred anything with sensitive information on it. I don’t know how to why people do it, but they can get into your trash and have access to anything sensitive that isn’t shredded. I now split my mail into three stacks – to do, to shred, and to trash. Or better yet, avoid paper statements all together. Just get your statement emailed to you electronically so you don’t even have to deal with shredding.
#4 – Use A Card with a Chip
Remember that time when Target announced they’d been hacked and anyone who’d shopped at Target within those few days was at risk of having their credit card numbers stolen? And remember how I’m at Target almost daily? Yep, we were one of those lucky people who had their credit card number stolen.
Large corporations aren’t hacked all the time, but they do occur. And having chip technology on your credit card can help you avoid being one of the lucky few who have to deal with credit card fraud. I feel much better shopping at our favorite stores now that my credit card number is better protected during the transaction.
#5 – Be Careful Storing Credit Card Numbers
Storing credit cards on your favorite websites and apps is so easy. And it makes it so ridiculously convenient to shop online. But it also means that if someone figures out your password and gets into your account, they can conveniently use your credit cards too.
If you’re going to store your credit card number, make sure it’s with a well-known and secure website and make sure you’re using a great password system that someone isn’t going to be able to hack. Or just don’t store your credit card numbers anywhere. It’s less convenient, but it’s more convenient than having to go through the process of canceling your credit card.
Have you ever had your credit card number stolen? What tips would you add?