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Credit Card Fraud: Be Prepared
How many credit cards do you carry? How many accounts do you have? A great many thousands of U.S. consumers have far more active credit card accounts (including retail, gas, loyalty cards, etc.) than they need to. And the more accounts you have, the greater the risk that one or more of those accounts can be compromised.
If you carry a First Entertainment Visa® Debit Card or First Entertainment Platinum Visa® Card and you feel it has been compromised, please see our Identity Theft page for what you should do next.
Here are some things you can do to be better prepared and attempt to keep your credit card accounts safe:
- Keep a record of your credit card account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud for each card in a secure place. You can keep them in a spreadsheet and password-protect the spreadsheet. Or keep the list in a safe deposit box.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
- Shred anything with your credit card number on it.
- Always cut up your old cards.
- Don't leave your cards, receipts, or statements around your home or office. As mentioned above, most of us have lots of cards that we don't use regularly. Make sure that you know the location of ALL of your cards.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. And carry only the card you need for that outing.
- Don't give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you've made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you've never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.
- Don't sign blank credit card receipts. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
- Open your bills promptly – or check them online often – and reconcile them with the purchases you've made. Report any questionable charges to the card issuer. It takes just a few minutes to look over your credit card charges each month.
- Password-protect your phone if you conduct credit card transactions through an App or Mobile Browser. Make sure your phone (and iPad and office computer) is password- or fingerprint-protected.
- With the advent of RFID technology, many cards now have the ability to transmit data without the need to swipe the magnetic strip on the back of the card. You can deter thieves from exploiting this technology with the use of RFID blocking products. Companies like I.D. Stronghold sell items that can help you block RFID signals.
These are just a few things that you can do to lower your chances of becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Resolving and Repairing Identity Theft
To resolve, repair and get your finances back on track takes a considerable amount of painstaking follow up. The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information bureau has a detailed list of the information you need to track and how to keep it organized at: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0274-immediate-steps-repair-identity-theft.
For more information on tax fraud, go to: https://www.firstent.org/getsmart-taxtheft.shtml.
For more information on identity theft, go to: https://www.firstent.org/getsmart-fraudPrevention-identityTheft.shtml.