Imagine opening your credit card statement one morning and discovering to your horror that you suddenly owe thousands of dollars - on purchases that you never made.
Credit card fraud on the rise, so you need to treat your card and its information with extreme care.
Here are 10 tips to help insure you're not the victim of thieves and fraudsters:
1. Sign new and replacement cards immediately.
2. Destroy the old cards by cutting them into pieces and shred all old receipts and bills.
3. Don't fax your credit-card number, if possible. Remember, the faxed document could remain in sight at the other end for long periods of time.
4. Don't give your card number over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
5. Destroy any carbon paper if it's used as part of the credit card transaction. Somebody can grab it and forge your signature.
6. Don't respond to any "scam" e-mails requesting your credit card number.
7. Never send your credit card number in an e-mail to anyone!
8. A good option for discouraging theft is to choose a credit card that includes your photo and signature on the card.
9. If you have questions about mistakes or unauthorized items on your statement, you have the right to challenge them.
10. If your card is lost, stolen, or you suspect fraudulent use, call your company's 24-hour hotline immediately to prevent your card from being used as little as possible. The company will block its use, and you won't be responsible for any charges made by thieves.
You'll never deter fraudsters completely. But you can certainly make life as difficult as possible for them.
About The Author
Paul Davis is financial writer and contributor to 'Debt Elimination 4U'. Visit the site now and learn how to get out of debt forever: http://Debt-Elimination-4U.com