In the article I’ll tell you about why it is important to Avoid Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft to Avoid Debt. No one can deny there are a lot of conveniences that come with owning a credit card.  It’s basically a necessity today in order to make reservations, shop online, and even rent various equipment.  A credit card is also essential in establishing the credit score that is used to determine your eligibility for other types of lending. We recommend using an American credit card aggregator to compare local deals.

Avoid Credit Card Fraud

However, fraud and identity theft through credit cards is not one of these benefits and can lead to debt that wasn’t even yours.  Though you may get your money back, it’s certain that it will take time and can put your financial wellbeing in jeopardy.  But we borrowers and consumers aren’t helpless.  There’s much you can do to protect yourself and your credit card from fraud and identity theft.

There’s no way to guarantee that fraud and identity theft won’t happen to you, but there are ways that you can educate yourself and drastically reduce your risk.  Every American consumer should familiarize themselves with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

It is a government organization established to protect consumers against “unfair and deceptive acts and practices” as well as carrying out consumer protection laws and giving consumers a place to learn their rights and how to protect their financial interests.

Over the years, as technology has increased the ways consumers can be victimized their role has grown to meet the need for additional protection.  There is a wealth of information on the organization at www.ftc.gov.

The first thing a credit card holder must do is protect their personal information.  It seems simple, but we don’t follow this rule much of the time.  Anytime you are asked for personal information there are three questions you need to ask:  who is going to be seeing the information, why is the information necessary, and how is this information going to be used.

If you haven’t previously dealt with the person or business asking for your information then never give it out until you know more.  If it’s a business, then you can use the Better Business Bureau as way to check on their credentials.

Some types of information can be used to victimize you more than others.  Your social security number is the key to much of your personal information and therefore the most at risk for misuse.  Your social security number is the way in which the government tracks things like your tax record and your credit record so your financials are in direct connection to it.

Be extremely selective in who you give this number to.  In addition, don’t freely give out your driver’s license number or date of birth.

One thing many people don’t think of is the identification they carry around with them.  You should never carry your social security card with you, and only keep with you person identification that is absolutely necessary.

Needless to say, giving out your credit card and account numbers freely is asking for trouble.  But something that is commonly overlooked is the passwords you set.  We need passwords for so many different things that it’s tempting to make it something that you’ll easily remember.

However, it also means it will be easier for others to figure out as well.  It is never a good idea to use parts of your social security number, date of birth, or phone number as well as any other personal information.  Also pay attention to security questions that can be easily looked up, such as the high school you went to.

In this case, without using something on record, the more personal you can get the better since far less people would know or have access to the answer.  Try using the name of your first pet or your last vacation spot as the security question.  If possible try to mix up alphabetical and numerical symbols as well.

Sometimes it isn’t your intention to give out information that can be used for credit card fraud and identity theft.  Many times the information is gained without you knowing it at all.  Just as you want to limit the identification you carry with you, you also want to limit the credit cards you bring places.

Every day cards are lost and stolen only to lead to unauthorized charges and even cash withdrawals from credit card accounts that total in the billions every year.  In fact, most identity theft and fraud is initiated through the criminal stealing or finding a lost card.  If you bring only what you absolutely need you can avoid this possibility all together.

The dangers of fraud and identity theft can attack from a number of fronts.  One place you may suspect the least is your own home.  The false sense of security is what typically leads to being victimized.  A number of people enter your home for different purposes; repair men, friends, colleagues, cleaning services and roommates.

Knowing these people personally gives you a false sense of security that can lead to a lack of caution.  We don’t like to think that our acquaintances would steal from us but it happens more than you would think.  In fact, out of all the cases of fraud in house employees, friends, and family accounted for 23% overall of those who did the stealing.  However, with young adults ages 18-24 the number rose to over 50% who knew the criminal who stole their information.

The paper documents you receive in the mail are a major source utilized by identity fraud thieves to gain your information.  Nearly 10% of fraud cases are known to originate from paper documents.    It is a common problem with easy fixes.  Only a third of Americans use a secured mailbox or one that can only be accessed by key.

To ensure that people aren’t simply walking by and grabbing your information make the switch if you haven’t already to completely avoid this possibility.