How can you avoid credit card fraud? You think, "it won't happen to me" right? "My credit card has never left my purse or wallet right"? But it will happen, and it only takes a second.
To begin with, you should always know where your credit card is. Every time you are in your purse or wallet, you should take a quick glance to make sure it is still in there. The sooner you report a card stolen the quicker they can stop it. So if you have ever left your purse sitting somewhere, out of sight, such as a party or gathering, or wedding, take a quick look to make sure it is still there.
But here are three major tips, to help you avoid credit card fraud. I wished I had found these tips before this happened to me! I was subject to tip number ONE. This does happen!
Never let your card out of your sight. This means right up to and including the transaction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, especially in a clothing store, you will have chosen your purchases, and then gone up to the register, and the sales clerk asks you if you are interested in some jewelry or a scarf or some accessories for the new outfits you are about to purchase?. This is when you can avoid credit card fraud!
Many times, by this point, the sales clerk may have your credit card in their hand, and most times this is asked quite innocently, but in my case, this is what happened:
My story: I purchased a few tops, and got to the counter, she rang in my purchase, and just as I handed her my credit card, she asked if I wanted any jewelry, and she was point to the end of the counter, I looked at the end of the counter where the display was, and something caught my eye. I quickly grabbed a necklace that I liked and handed it to her.
In that quick moment, while I was checking out the jewelry, not 8 inches away!, she pretended to drop my credit card. That part I remember. What I didn't know, was that on her way back up from the floor, and under the register was a tiny copier the size of a wallet. She jammed my credit card in there, it quickly scans it, then she proceeded with the purchase and the additional jewelry I bought on the main register. It had to have happened very fast, I don't really remember..
I should have watched the card as she was getting back up to avoid credit card fraud, but I didn't. The only reason I know how this happened, was two weeks later, while online, I noticed my credit card got charged 950.00 dollars at a Wal-Mart clear across the country.
After phoning it in, they canceled my card, and then waited for Wal-Mart to send a copy of the transaction, this took 90 days! It showed that, my card had been made into a new card with someone else's name on it. They signed with that new name. But would have charged more, but the card hit the limit of 1000.00 dollars. But they were brazen enough to keep trying to purchase something until it went through.
So, after investigation, it was traced back to this clothing store, and they found the scanner unit. The girl was still doing this. I guess she did it enough times for the investigators to trace it to her. She was part time help and was arrested, and she was scared enough to give up the criminals who were leading this crime. She was getting 100.00 dollars for the credit card copies.
So that tip cost me a lot of time, and having to get a new credit card, which took a month. I felt violated! I always thought I would be able to avoid credit card fraud.
If you buy gas at a gas station, and put your credit card right in the pump. Make sure there are no wires sticking out of it, or anything the size of a wallet sitting on top of the pump anywhere. This may sound obvious, but it is not something you would think to look for. Your mind may be else where while filling up the tank, so to avoid credit card fraud, watch for this.
The investigator told me that at a busy gas station with multiple pumps that take credit cards, sometimes the perpetrator will place this wallet sized scanner on top of a pump, somewhat hidden, but there will be a tiny wire to the reader. So if you see any wires, don't put your credit card in there, and go in and report it to the store owner or the police. Some of these scanners, just look like part of the pump. So you need to be careful here.
Have any new credit cards that are coming to you, to be delivered to the bank you deal with or held at the post office. My daughter was waiting for her new credit card as hers was about to expire. The bank sent her a letter ahead of time letting her know it was on its way and to watch for it. But it never showed up.
She phone the bank, and there had already been a transaction on it. Which was totally strange as with many new credit cards they have to be activated by phoning from your home phone number, so we are not sure what happened there, and no one had been in the house that we know of. She had to wait for yet another new card, and she picked it up at her bank.
Sometimes the mail goes astray, or there are mail box looters out there as well. We have a rural mailbox at the end of the driveway, so wouldn't take much for someone to help themselves. You hate to think this, but it happens.
Avoiding credit card fraud is not foolproof, it still can happen no matter how careful you are, but the above 3 tips are some of the most common ways, according to the investigator I was dealing with, of credit card fraud.
I talked to the clothing store I was at that day, the owner felt horrible. But she no longer has her staff ask if we want anything else once we have reached the stage of paying. She has her staff assist you while you are still looking. The investigator told me, to watch the clerk very carefully, once that credit card leaves your hand, and to get it back right away. There is no need for them to go off with your card. They should simply swipe it, then hand it back, that's it.
So to avoid credit card fraud, just think of your card as cash, and focus on the transaction rather than letting your mind wander. The perpetrators are banking on you being busy and not watching to get away with this.