We all recognize that crooks are out there, awaiting to steal our credit card information. These criminals get credit card information so they can chalk up the charges then leave you carrying the bags - with nothing to show for it. Even though a few are local, most credit card criminals are in far-off lands. Worse than that, they like to obscure or go by other names so it's nearly impossible to chase them down.

The most common process for criminals to catch credit card information is through phishing, which requires a fake email that appears to be coming from your credit card company. Typically, this fraudulent email will read like there was an error with your account, or that it was accessed by unauthorized entity and requires your attention.

Spotting false emails isn't hard to do - as long as you recognize what to look for. The most conspicuous hint for most, is the fact that they don't even have a credit card from the company that has sent out the email. For other people, the link is what gives the fake email away. Each time you get an email by a credit card that you believe to be fraudulent, you must always hover your mouse over the link, then "right click" the link with the computer mouse and choose "view source". If the link is indeed fake, the website address that shows will be something other than that of a credit card company.

The felons don't want you to look at the source for their internet site, as they plainly want you to click on the link before you consider anything else. Once you've clicked on the link, you'll get in at a website that is usually a precise copy of a credit card website. Fake sites generally include everything that the actual site does, including the logos and banners. Even for the most amateur of credit card crooks, web pages like this are really easy to produce.

Those of you who have fallen victim to this scam, probably understood what you've done little too late. Once you have typed in your credit card information, you have done precisely what the criminals needed and place yourself in violation of credit card fraud and identity theft. Once the crook has your social security number and credit card data, he is more than likely to apply that information to go on a shopping spree - stealing your money and running up your account.

If you get an email like this, you had better delete it. Even if you only click on the fake website to look into, you might do more harm than good. Although you do not enter any information at all, your computer may get contaminated with viruses or spyware only because you clicked on the link. To avoid this completely, you should never click on a link that you consider to be a fake credit card company website.  Another option is to find a reliable email hosting site especially if you are a webmaster doing business online.

If you do your duty and protect your credit card information, you will not have anything at all to concern about. Your personal data is very important, as you never want it to fall in the wrong hands. As long as you protect it, you will not have anything to worry about. There are always criminals around, which is why you should always exercise caution. Criminals want your personal data and your credit card numbers - it's up to you to ensure that they don't get it. A crook will do anything to find what they want, which is why protecting yourself is so very significant these days.