Credit Card Scam! I've Been Wiped Out!

The credit card scam is on the rise, more so because of the state of our economy.

A credit card scam is easy for a thief to use to commit identity theft.

Because of our economy, criminals are committing identity theft on a much larger scale.

Thieves target ATM and credit card numbers because these types of identity theft are easy for a criminal to steal.

It pays to be knowledgeable about the credit card scam and other identity theft scams and the steps to take to protect yourself but, more so during the holidays.

We all tend to be more preoccupied during holidays and our attention is easily distracted.

Knowledge will stop your financial losses and protect you from becoming a victim of the horrible crime of identity theft.

The thief will use the credit cards for a short period of time, maxing out your credit, and then move on to the next victim.

You probably won’t even know your credit cards have been compromised until it's too late.

Take all the necessary steps so you don't become the next victim of a credit card scam.

  • Your best protection against a credit card scam is keeping your cards secure and knowing where they are at all times.
  • Keep PIN numbers for any of your cards a secret. Never carry your PIN in your purse or wallet or write it on your debit card or ATM card.
  • If your wallet, purse or card is stolen you have given the thief all he needs to make you a victim of identity theft.
  • Never use your birth date, phone, address, or Social Security number as a PIN and memorize the numbers.

More Credit Card Scam Tips…Keep Your Cards Safe!

  • Don’t write your PIN number on anything that could be lost, stolen or seen such as, on the envelope of your deposit receipt, your deposit receipt, or any other paper.
  • Click here for more atm security tips for your protection.

  • Be sure you know who you’re dealing with and that the company is reputable before disclosing your account number or any other personal information.
Keep your credit cards safe from identity theft scams.

Legitimate companies do Not call and ask for credit card numbers over the phone or email you for personal information.

Never respond to emails or phone calls of this nature.

If you need to confirm the information call the company yourself…that is the safer way to proceed.

  • For your safety always keep your credit card in sight whenever you use it.

Make sure where it is and get it back as soon as possible. Do your best not to let your credit card out of your sight.

  • As soon as you receive your credit cards, sign them.
  • Shred all credit card applications and go to stop junk mail to opt-out of receiving these applications.
  • Shred all old credit cards or cut them up in tiny pieces.
  • Never leave your receipts or credit cards lying around.
  • Always save any of your receipts so you can compare them to your statements.
  • Always shield your credit card number so others can’t capture or copy it on their camera or cell phone.

When in stores always shield the password numbers you are entering.

  • Only carry one credit card with you at a time.

If your card is lost or stolen it limits your financial loss.

  • Be diligent and go over your bank statements, etc, on a regular basis to make sure there are no false charges.
  • To protect yourself from a credit card scam, keep a list of all your ID cards, license, and credit card account numbers, phone numbers, expiration dates and the name of the company that issued your credit card in a secure place, preferably in a locked safe.

Always update your list whenever you receive new credit cards.

Do this right away. You’ll be glad you have this if you find you are a victim of identity theft.

  • Never sign a credit card receipt that is blank. To avoid fraudulently added additional charges, draw lines through blank portions of the receipt

To protect yourself and learn more go to identity theft scams.

  • Always shred anything with your personal information on it such as; name, address, phone, account or credit card numbers.
  • Never write your credit card numbers on a postcard of where it can show through an envelope payment window.
  • Never lend your credit card to anyone.
  • Notify your credit card issuers of your new address in advance, if you move.
  • Contact your issuer(s) immediately if your credit cards are stolen and then the authorities in the jurisdiction where your credit card was stolen.

If you don’t report your stolen credit card you may be responsible for the whole bill.

According to United States law, you have no more responsibility for unauthorized charges once you have reported the loss or theft of your credit card.

  • If you find yourself a victim of identity theft your maximum liability under the United States Federal Law, (Truth in Lending Act) limits your lose to $50.00 per credit card.

Many credit card issuers waive that fee for their good customers.

You can refuse to pay any part of the unauthorized charges while the theft is being investigated.

Debit cards are a completely different animal and have a different law called the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

  • You have to notify your bank within 2 business days of finding out you’re debit card has been stolen or lost to limit your liability to $50
  • If you wait any longer than that, but report to your bank the fraudulent transactions within 60 days of when your statement is mailed, your maximum liability goes up to $500.

If you miss that deadline, you are in danger of losing all your money in that account.

The debit card accesses funds directly from your account and you can be left up the “proverbial creek without a paddle” while the fraud is investigated.

I had this happen to me. I go over my statement and transactions every few days online and noticed a $150.00 charge from my debit card.

I called the bank right away to report what happened.

I changed my account number and PIN (that’s very important to do) and then waited for the bank to investigate.

The bank gave back the money in my account on a Temporary basis until the completion of the investigation.

I Never added this to my account. I pretended it wasn’t there. I didn’t want to spend the money and then find out I wasn’t really going to get it back.

It took 3 Months for me to get this credit card scam resolved because the company where the debit card number was used had 45 days in which to reply.

The whole investigative process left a lot to be desired.

  • Call the 3 national credit-reporting agencies immediately to report the theft of your credit card. Have them put a “fraud alert” on all your credit cards.

Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

  • Call the Social Security Administration (fraud line) if your Social Security card is missing at, 1-800-269-0271.

If your driver’s license was stolen contact your local Department Of Motor Vehicles.

My sincere hope is you never have a credit card scam happen to you. The tips above will help you keep your identity safe from “prying eyes” and “sticky fingers” and keep your identity where it belongs…with you!

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