In the current age of telemarketing and high speed internet service, credit card and identification fraud have emerged as a serious and common problem. In order to help you avoid the potential nightmare of becoming a fraud victim, we recommend that you incorporate the following simple preventative measures into your everyday lives:
* Keep a list of all the credit cards and other important cards or documents that you have in your wallet, in a secure place. Record the credit card account numbers, expiration dates and the telephone numbers to call in the event of theft.
* When making purchases on line, make certain the site is secure and that you are using a credit card that has an early theft detection system.
* Avoid whenever possible, giving out your credit card number or social security number over the telephone, especially if using a cellular or mobile telephone.
* When paying your credit card bills, do not write the entire account number on your check. The last 4 numbers of the account number is sufficient for the appropriate people to identify your account.
* When ordering checks, avoid having your telephone number printed on the checks.
* Always keep your social security card/information in a secure place and never carry it in your wallet or hand bag.
* Avoid using your full social security number on the internet whenever possible.
* Be wary of anyone who asks you to provide them with your social security number. Inquire as to the exact reason it is needed and if this is not answered to your satisfaction, consider withholding the information.
* Use your common sense before revealing your credit card and identification information to anyone. If your instincts tell you something is not right, do not ignore them just to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation. It is better to be embarrassed than to be another fraud victim.
* When paying bills on line, always remember to log out and delete the history when you are finished.
* When replacing an expired credit card with its replacement, cut the expired card up with a scissor into as many pieces as possible.
* When waiting on line to pay for something, do not stand on line with your credit card in hand and face up for others to see.
Unfortunately, the holiday season is replete with fraud and people who will seize any opportunity for financial gain. However, if you exercise a few simple preventative measures and common sense, you may avoid being another statistic and enjoy your holiday.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.