HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — During the pandemic, there’s been a big spike in credit card fraud, but there are a few tips to keep you from becoming a victim.
“Credit card fraud always remains up there as a popular way these scammers are trying to target people,” says Nathan Grant with CreditCardInsider.com.
Whether it’s physical devices like credit card skimmers or cybercrime like data breaches, credit card fraud is on the rise.
“With more people shopping online than ever before it just becomes a bigger issue just because people are using credit cards more often.”
Grant says the best way to protect yourself online is by shopping with your credit card instead of your debit card.
“If you use your debit card for a purchase and something were to happen through a data breach and people have that information, if they spend using your debit card that’s taking money out of your actual account,” Grant said. “You’re not able to continue using that money until it’s refunded and depending on the bank that could take a lot longer.”
Grant also says you can give yourself added protection by using digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
“Even if you put your credit or debit card information into those wallets it actually uses what is called tokenization which gives you a one-time use number for that transaction so even if you make a purchase at a merchant that gets breached by fraudsters or something like that, they’re not going to have your information.”
Other important tips – when shopping online look for the lock symbol in the address bar, avoid making purchases on a public network and be careful on social media. Scammers can get a lot of personal info by looking at what you post.
Thieves aren’t just using your stolen data to buy things with your card, they’re also using that info to open new credit cards in your name.
“A good thing to do is keep an eye on not only on your bank accounts and credit accounts but on your credit reports, look for things that if something looks fishy like something you didn’t open, an account you didn’t open on your own or something, that’s the first red flag that will tip you off to ‘oh my gosh something might have happened.'”
If you do become a victim of credit card fraud Grant says, “there’s a lot of federal protections in place so the first thing you want to do is contact the FCC and put in a fraud report for identity theft and they will guide you through the process. There’s a step-by-step process to get back on track and undo any damages that may have been done.”
Nathan also suggests signing up for fraud alerts. With that, any time there’s an attempt to make new credit in your name, you will be notified.
More information and tips on our Show Me the Money can be found by clicking here.