Today, users are barraged with offers for online credit credit card accounts. Anyone who has an email account, for example, has signed into their account at least once to find dozens of unsolicited online credit card offers indicating that they are preapproved and should apply right away. Certainly, not all of these offers are scams, but those who follow the news even passively know that there have been hundreds of people caught promoting fake credit cards in order to engage in identity theft. This guide is designed to help you avoid scams promoting online credit card accounts.

Things You Will Need

Internet connection, List of banks with whom you have an existing relationship

Step 1

Mastercard Credit Cards (TM Mastercard) (25367)Do not fill out credit card forms that are sent directly to your email address without your having initiated contact with the bank. Many unsolicited forms come from phishers who send fake card applications and then take the information given to them from unsuspecting persons and steal applicants' identities. It can be almost impossible to discern between a fake and an authentic card offer, so avoid potential trouble and do not fill out unsolicited applications.

Step 2

Beware of credit card accounts that come from banks that you have never heard of or have never stepped foot in. Offers from these banks are more likely to be scams than offers from a bank with which you have an existing relationship. Banks with whom you have a pre-established relationship will likely have online credit card access, so you should have no problem applying for credit with them directly.

Step 3

Sign out of your email and go directly to a bank's website if you suspect that an offer that you have received is real and you want to open a credit card at that institution. If the offer was legitimate you should be able to get approved once you fill out a legitimate form. Once you get the card, you can start using it at companies that are accepting credit card payments online.

Step 4

Consider ignoring unsolicited offers for online credit card accounts altogether. If you initiate all card inquiries yourself, you will not have to worry too much about getting scammed.

Step 5

Avoid online credit card offers that promise a credit limit that is fifty percent or more of your annual gross income. Such offers are often too good to be true and likely from scam artists.
Even though there is a lot to worry about regarding identity theft and online credit card accounts today, there is much that you can do to protect yourself. Follow these steps, and you should drastically lower your chances of being taken advantage of when you apply for credit.

Tips & Warnings

• Never put your social security number on an unsolicited credit card application. • Know that some offers for online credit card accounts are legitimate, so do not be afraid to apply for credit entirely. • Never give someone your online passwords via an email.