Credit Card Fraud


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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 statement.
  • 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 additional losses.
  • 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 immediately.

This information is provided by the Tiffin Police Department
and the National Crime Prevention Council.




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