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Chapter 2. MAKING YOURSELF LESS VULNERABLE TO IDENTITY THEFT

Chapter 2. MAKING YOURSELF LESS VULNERABLE TO IDENTITY THEFT

Identity thieves believe that they deserve a lot of credit. Unfortunately, the credit to which they are convinced they are entitled is yours. Credit cards present an all too easy target for identity thieves. Protecting your credit cards from identity theft should be a priority for everyone. Take the following steps to reduce your chances of being the victim of credit card fraud:

  1. Sign your credit card as soon as you receive it and activate it. Some people believe that instead of signing your credit card you should write “See ID” on the signature line on the back of the card. The hope is that whenever your card is used, the clerk or whoever is processing your purchase will check your ID to make sure that it is you that is using your credit card. It sounds like a good idea, but credit card issuers are in general agreement that it is best to sign your card. Under the rules enforced between merchants and the major credit card issuers, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, a merchant is supposed to compare the signature on the sales slip with the signature on the credit card. The merchant should refuse to go through with the transaction if the cardholder refuses to sign his or her card.

  2. As much as possible, do not let your credit card out of your sight when you make a purchase; a significant amount of credit card fraud occurs when the salesperson with whom you are dealing, out of your view, swipes your card through a small apparatus that gathers all of the information imbedded in your card. The thief then uses that information to make charges to your account.

  3. Save your receipts and ultimately destroy those receipts by shredding.

  4. Never give credit card information over the phone to anyone unless you have initiated the call.


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