Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tips For Safeguarding Credit and Debit Cards

I have had to trash my credit card twice now. One time the credit card called me to tell me my card had been compromised. I thought about my usage over the last 90 days and came to the conclusion that my card number had to have been swiped via a card reader at an ATM. I had used several that month, some were in seedy areas of town. The second time, my card was used over seas, and the bank suspected that it was due to unsecured online transactions.

Millions of Americans face the same issue every single year. Mostly due to the fact we have behind Europe in adapting the EMV chip, which is finally started here. It is a pain when your credit cards get compromised. You have to get issued an entire new card, with a new number, you have to update any merchant you have auto pay with. In general it also makes you feel less secure, icky even.

At worst you are without a card for a week or more, unless you opt to pay for an expedited card. You should never pay for an expedited card unless you are traveling and need it badly. You might have to deal without your credit card for a week, but at least your credit will be safe, this minor problem will pass in time. At least with credit card fraud, with most reputable credit cards at any rate, you are not on the hook for fraudulent activity. You should take this time now to ensure that the credit cards you have active have fraud protection.

How can you prevent this? Always make sure any ATM or credit card slider you use does not have anything that looks odd. Many times card numbers are swiped by crooks who slide in a thin device into the card reader, and these are obvious if you look for them. Another key factor is only doing business online with secure websites that show the “lock” icon in the browser. Any site that does not have this you need to beware off.

You should also never use apps that request your credit card info, outside of the app store itself. Much credit card fraud today is due to fraud due to unsecured apps. Anytime an app request this, you should see red flags. You do not know who made the app in most cases, and you never know who has access to this date. Legitimate apps that need this info can do so through the app store, with your permission.

If you are worried about credit card fraud, you can always sign up to BillGuard. BillGuard is a handy app that alerts you to potential fraud. It also alerts you to possible data breaches, complaints from its members about other vendors or merchants, and more.

We are always searching for good tips on credit, loans and financing, connect with our editorial team with any suggestions for topics to cover.