How To: Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Most of us are no strangers to credit card fraud. We avoid buying from questionable websites, make sure we have our cards with us before leaving a store, and keep our information private. But there’s more you should be doing.

At STS we service the payments industry, so we are intimately aware how credit card security works. Here are some tips we recommend to keep your cards safe.

1. Check the store

Most security breaches happen at the merchant; other groups that receive your information during a transaction via computer to verify and record the purchase are much more secure. The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council releases new Data Security Standards every six months to stay a step ahead of hackers. Shopping only with companies that meet these standards will reduce your chances of becoming a victim of credit card fraud. For more, visit Click on “Approved Companies and Providers.”

2. Don’t make purchases using wireless internet

Hackers can easily access the data you’re transmitting. Particularly avoid wireless internet connections that people can freely join, such as home wireless that a neighbor could jump onto or a restaurant’s WiFi. Says the PCI Security Standards Council, “Note that risks in wireless networks are essentially equal to the sum of the risk of operating a wired network plus the new risks introduced by weaknesses in wireless protocols.”

3. Mind your receipts

Draw a line through blank spaces that appear above the total to keep unsavory merchants from adding charges. And as always, keep your receipts and compare them with the charges on your statements.

4. Guard your card

Don’t leave your card in the open any longer than necessary so thieves can’t take pictures of it. Also, leave at home the cards you won’t need for that shopping trip.Your wallet will thank you.

1 reply on “How To: Avoiding Credit Card Fraud”

I have been a victim of card fraud twice and was beginning to feel helpless. No matter how careful I seem to be, somehow my card information gets found. I do not want to carry cash but my cards seemed to expose my accounts to unauthorized charges.

I heard about this new card product called a Secure Identity Prepaid Card. It has a security feature that lets you turn your card on and off using your cell phone. You send a text message to activate it before you make a purchase. If your card is ever lost or stolen, the card could not be used. If someone tried to use the card, you would get a text alert telling you the details of where it was used but the charge would not go through. If you wanted to have the purchase go through, you could activate your card and have the merchant swipe it again. This sounds like a very cool concept and I like that I am in control of what transactions can be processed on my card.

I can only spend what I load on it which I hope will help me better budget my money. I plan on using it instead of my bank debit card. You can fund the card by transferring money from your bank account by a bank transfer or from PayPal. I just enrolled for one and I am waiting to get it in the mail. I can’t wait to try it out. At this point, what do I have to lose. I will re-post and let people know how it worked.

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