By keeping you
informed, together we can rob thieves of a few of their favorite schemes.
You can protect yourself against credit card fraud with the following tips:
- If your card is lost or stolen,
report it to your credit card company immediately. The company will take
appropriate steps to ensure unauthorized users do not access your account.
- Sign your new card as soon as it
arrives. Signature verification is one of the best weapons we have against
fraud. If a criminal signs your (unsigned) card in his or her handwriting,
he or she will have no problem using it. Some people feel more secure by
not signing the card. If you chose to do this, write "Please ask for I.D."
on the signature strip. This will prevent a potential thief from signing
the blank space with his/her signature thereby insuring that he/she can
easily use your card.
- Always keep your charge receipts,
destroying any carbons, so you can compare them with your monthly
- Never release your account number,
expiration date, or personal information over the telephone without
verifying the callerís identity. Offer to call back - legitimate companies
will not mind. If the caller hesitates, you have reason to be suspicious.
- Review your monthly statement
immediately and report any charges you donít recognize. The faster an
unauthorized charge is reported, the better chance you have to minimize
- Memorize your PIN (Personal
Identification Number). Do not carry your PIN in your wallet or write it
on your card. That way, if your card falls into the wrong hands, you wonít
be making it easier to use. If youíve forgotten your PIN or would like to
personalize the number, call your credit card company.
- When using your card, watch to be
sure extra imprints of your card are not made. Making a second imprint and
filling in the amount later is one of the oldest schemes in the book.
- Donít leave your wallet or purse
unattended. Even hotel rooms are not 100% secure. If you must leave your
card behind, put it in a safety deposit box at that hotel.
- When a merchant returns your card
to you, always check to be sure it has your name on it. Your card could
easily be switched with someone elseís who is not as honest as you and may
not return it.
- Avoid signing blank charge
receipts. Always insist that the exact amount be entered on the receipt
before you sign.
- If you believe youíve been a victim
of fraud or realize your card is missing, call your credit card company
information is provided by the Tiffin Police Department
and the National Crime Prevention Council.