Home Finance & Fintech How to avoid credit fraud in 6 steps

How to avoid credit fraud in 6 steps

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On a recent lazy Sunday, staying home caused me to panic. Someone was trying to use my credit card information to place his $1,300 order through her website at Apple.

It was flagged as possible fraud, and I immediately got a text message from my credit card company, and my transactions skyrocketed.

Even though we knew we weren’t responsible for fake purchases, it was still a hassle and stressful experience. The cost to businesses from falsely flagging fraudulent or legitimate purchases makes everything they buy more expensive.

Financial experts have told me that it is impossible for Americans to completely prevent unwanted payments. It’s not your fault. Scammers are clever. Our financial system puts you at risk by being too complicated or too simple in some ways.

But these 6 steps can help reduce the risk of fake charges and put you in control when scammers target you.

1. Sign up for alerts. they are painful. Do it anyway. Financial experts say caution is the best protection. Sign up to be notified by email or phone when your card is used. Ideally, it’s about all transactions, or purchases such as e-commerce orders that skip the physical card swipe.

Notifications don’t prevent fake purchases, but at least they let you know right away that something is wrong so you can take action. Check your settings.)

One of the risks of these payment notifications is that most of the time the transactions are legit and you start ignoring them.

Michelle SingletaryPersonal Finance Columnist for The Washington Post, Said She made the mistake of setting alerts only for charges over $25 on her card. She overlooked small fraudulent purchases until card thieves moved on to larger purchases.

2. Try card lock. Another option for at least some credit and debit cards is controls that allow you to lock the card from use if it looks suspicious or block purchases over a set amount.

Card controls are hard to find. Emmett Higdon, director of digital banking at finance industry consultancy Javelin Strategy & Research, said card issuers have created large SOS buttons on their websites and apps to alert people when a card is lost. It would be nice to be able to freeze the card quickly or unlock it if lost. i want to buy something

3. Be careful with payment apps like Zelle. remittance app They don’t have the same protection as credit and debit card payments like Zelle and Venmo. Think of it like paying someone cash.

Only use it for people you know and trusted merchants, not strangers who want to buy your TV on Facebook Marketplace, according to Jon Buzzard, chief fraud and security analyst at Javelin.

Zell is Scammer’s favoriteWrong or deceived transfers can be difficult or impossible to get back. Banks participating in Zelle reportedly repay people A person who has been duped by a particular type of fraud. don’t count on it.

Early Warning Services, which operates Zelle, said that “more than 99.9% of Zelle payments were sent without fraud or fraud reports.”

4. Beware of tactics to play on your fears and desires. If you find a good deal on Instagram or an email, think twice before clicking on fake links that try to steal your card details. If you get a text from your bank saying it’s an emergency and asking you to authorize payment, be suspicious.

Being paranoid is exhausting, but it’s also a smart defense, say Michael Reitblat and Gunnar Peterson, executives at fraud prevention firm Forter.

5. Solidify the basics. Keep your computer and phone software up to date. Create a strong password for your account and do not use the same password more than once. (this is more Advice on protecting your digital accounts.) monitor financial transactions.

This advice is tedious, but it works. Peterson said the best security should be imagined as defenses that “brush your teeth” rather than “James Bond crashing through the vents.”

6. Save your card issuer’s information to your phone’s contacts. Here’s a smart tip from Michelle. This allows you to call the company immediately if you notice suspicious activity, even if your card is not in your possession, stolen, or the phone number on the back is missing.

My credit card creep’s first move was to charge about $60 at a restaurant. I received an email notification about the transaction and freaked out and scrambled my account to freeze the card. While investigating, I received a fraud alert about an Apple order. I have now taken Michelle’s advice.

Also, make sure your card issuer has current contact information, such as a phone number, so you can get in touch with them in a pinch.

Is it better to pay with a card or with PayPal, Google Wallet, etc.? I’ve heard various advice on this. Some financial experts say digital options and credit cards that generate his one-time account number with each purchase are useful safeguards when buying online. Others said it didn’t matter too much.

Also note that there are stronger legal protections against fake purchases with credit cards compared to debit cards.

Yes it’s a scam.Simple Tips for Detecting Online Scams.

Scammers are targeting you. Here’s how to protect yourself.

My colleague Tatum Hunter recommends an app called Splitwise for planning vacations with family or splitting restaurant checks with friends.

Splitwise makes it easy to share costs. You can create categories for individual expenses, such as “Amusement Park Tickets,” or groups of regular monthly expenses among roommates.

The app reminds you of what you owe or owes and prompts you to pay for the hotel room you shared with your cousin on the beach.

One drawback is that everyone must use the Splitwise app to share the cost. Another is that Splitwise may show ads based on groups and payments.

Read more from Tatum: Best payment app for privacy and low fees

Show off your small victories! tell me An app, gadget or tech trick that makes your day a little better. We may take your advice in a future edition of The Tech Friend.

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