Credit card security is something we all have to think of. It doesn’t take much to protect our credit cards from fraud and theft. A little extra thought and a few precautions will save you a lot of trouble.
First, carry only the card(s) you’ll use on your shopping trip and leave the others at home. If they are stolen, you still have cards that haven’t been compromised. Don’t keep your cards in your wallet or purse when you shop or travel; if your wallet is stolen, your credit cards are still on your person. I typically put my cards in a separate pocket from my wallet, to prevent losing them all.
Second. Never, ever give your CSC (card security code) to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call! Your card issuer already knows it but impersonating card issuers is the most effective ruse for identity thieves. Your CSC is the last three digits on the reverse of your credit card. This transaction is a means to verify the transaction.
Thirdly, always check your charge slip for blank spaces. Draw a heavy line through those spaces so that extra charges can’t be added without your permission. Lines in the tip column are often omitted and people sign the total without filling in the tip area, assuming the running total is the final total. BUT sometimes less than scrupulous staff will fill in the missing line under total.
When traveling in Spain, some friends of mine were robbed in the middle of the street in daylight. Taking some simple safety steps can prevent a total washout: separating cash and cards, getting a safety deposit box at the hotel, wearing a secret passport belt, dressing more casually, keeping expensive items like jewelry, iPods, cameras, etc., in the hotel, and being generally street wise.
It’s not hard to keep your credit cards safe if you use a little caution and common sense. Have you ever had your cards stolen or misused? What happened? Comment in our thread!