Storing Your PIN with Your Card
It makes sense to want to store your PIN (personal identification number) with your credit card in order to help yourself remember it. Unfortunately, this means that anyone who finds your card will also find the security code needed to use it. For this reason, you should never store the two items together. Instead, pick a PIN you can remember but would be hard for someone else to guess. Don’t choose your birthday, address or any part of your social security number or credit card number, since these are among the first things an identity thief will guess. With a PIN that’s easy for you to remember, you’ll never have to write it down and no one else will find it.
Leaving Your Card Unattended
While your PIN provides a layer of security when someone tries to make a purchase with your credit card, not all merchants require credit card users to enter one. In these cases, anyone who finds your card will be able to use it without a problem. For this reason, you should never leave your card unattended. Keep it secure in your purse or wallet, and never let these items out of your sight. If an identity thief steals your wallet or purse, he will have access to your driver’s license and other documents that will make it easier for him to use your credit card.
Shopping with Suspicious Merchants
When shopping online, you should always make sure that the site you’re buying from keeps your credit card information secure. Though a site may look credible, it’s not uncommon for scam artists to construct sites that resemble those of more established merchants. Look closely at the web address before you share your account information. Check for misspellings, such as “Amazonn.com” for “Amazon.com,” “e-bay-online-store.com” for “ebay.com” or “Walgreens.net” for “Walgreens.com.” Also check for “https://” at the beginning of the address. This signifies that the server is secure, as opposed to a “http://” address.
Not Reading Statements Carefully
Card issuers only have the information they receive from merchants to refer to when they compile your credit card statements. As a consumer, you have another resource to help you analyze your bill receipts. By keeping a receipt for every purchase you make with your credit card, you will be better able to check your bill for purchases you didn’t make. As soon as you see a suspicious charge, call your card issuer and explain the situation. If they are able to determine that an identity thief is to blame for the purchase, you may receive a refund for the charge.