Fraud and Identity Theft
Fraud and identity theft can occur in many ways. It is not always possible to prevent fraud or identity theft, but there are steps to take to minimize the risk.
- Sign credit cards as soon as they arrive.
- Carry cards separately from wallet. Only carry cards used regularly.
- Keep a record of account numbers, expiration dates, and contact information for the company in a secure place.
- Watch card during transactions, and get it back as quickly as possible.
- Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly.
- Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
- Don’t lend cards to anyone.
- Don’t leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Don’t sign a blank receipt. When signing a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Don’t give account number over the phone unless calling a reputable company.
- Get all information in writing before agreeing to buy anything.
- Check out a charity before making a donation. Ask for written information and make informed giving decisions.
- If the offer is an investment, check with state securities regulator to see if it's properly registered.
- Don't send cash by messenger or overnight mail. Using cash rather than credit cards in a transaction limits rights to dispute fraudulent charges.
- Beware of offers to "help" recover lost money.