How To Avoid Credit And Charge Card Fraud

(Last Updated On: October 25, 2022)
Avoid Credit And Charge Card Fraud

What Is Credit and Charge Card Fraud

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your credit or charge card without permission. This can happen if your card is lost or stolen or someone gains access to your account information. You may also be a credit or charge card fraud victim if you receive unsolicited offers for products or services you did not request.

You can do several things to avoid becoming a credit or charge card, fraud victim. First, never give out your credit or charge card information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited. Second, keep your cards in a safe place and check your statements regularly to ensure that all charges are authorized. Finally, immediately report any suspicious activity on your account to your financial institution.

Types Of Fraud

Three primary credit and charge card fraud types are skimming, phishing, and data breaches.

  • Skimming is when a thief uses a card reader to capture your card information without your knowledge. At gas stations and ATMs, this can happen. 
  • Phishing is when a scammer uses email or text messages to get your personal information, like your credit card number or account password. They may impersonate a bank or company to get you to open a link or attachment. 
  • Criminals steal your identity by using your Social Security number. Data breaches occur when criminals access a company’s sensitive customer data, like credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. Data breaches can happen through cyberattacks or physically stealing data from a company’s computer systems.

Is My Account Number Safe?

If you are a victim of fraud, your account number is not necessarily compromised. Your account number, card’s expiration date, and security code are equally important. The card’s expiration date and back security code verify your account ownership. Your account number is typically only used for purchases at merchants or banks where you have previously used your card.

What is a credit card number? A credit card number is a series of digits that identifies you to the issuer and the merchant when you make a purchase. Credit card numbers are unique for each customer but are all standardized in length and format. How does my bank keep my account number secure? 

Your bank follows strict rules when issuing and maintaining your account number. These rules include the following:

  • Never sending your account number in an unencrypted format via email or text, even if you request it.
  • Using secure servers to communicate with customers when necessary. Using only trusted third parties to provide services on their behalf.
  • You can select an account number from a predetermined set of numbers.

In what format is my credit card number? Credit card numbers are printed on the back of the card. They are 16 digits long and typically look something like this:

4111 1111 2222 3333 4111 1111 2222 3334

This format is called a “card number with check digit.” Visa cards have a four-digit issuer identification number (IIN) in the first position on the front of the card, followed by sixteen digits in three groups of four, each separated by a space.

The following three numbers groups are the primary account number (PAN). The first four digits are the IIN, also called an “issuer identification code (IIC). “This code identifies the bank that issued your card. The following nine numbers are the primary account number (PAN). These are the digits that identify your account and can be used to identify a cardholder. The final four digits comprise the “bank identification code (BIN).” This code is assigned to a particular card type by the card issuer.

Sending and Receiving Payments With a Visa Debit Card

A debit card is an electronic payment device that allows users to make purchases or withdraw cash at ATMs. It works by automatically withdrawing the appropriate funds from the user’s bank account. Debit cards immediately withdraw money from the customer’s bank account, which must have enough to cover the purchase. When used at an ATM, the funds are withdrawn directly from the customer’s bank account. A debit card is a more secure and convenient alternative to writing checks for small purchases and allows for greater control since you know exactly how much money is in your account.

Avoiding Credit Card Scams 

Credit card scams are rising, and it’s important to know how to avoid them. Here are a few tips:

1. Be aware of your surroundings when using your credit card. If you’re in a crowded place, be extra cautious of who you’re letting see your card and what information they could glean from it.

2. Never give a stranger your credit card number or other personal information. In-person, online, or by phone. 

3. Keep an eye on your credit card statements and report any suspicious activity immediately to your bank or credit card company. These simple tips can prevent credit card fraud. 

How To Avoid Skimming

ATM skimming is a type of credit and charge card fraud that occurs when someone attaches an illegal device to an ATM to steal card information. Skimming devices are hard to spot, so be aware when using an ATM.

Report skimming to your bank immediately. Check for any unusual devices on the machine, such as a small camera or extra keypad, and report anything suspicious to the bank. Never give your PIN number to anyone, even if they claim to be from the bank. Other ATM scams to look out for include:

In most cases, the scammer’s goal is to get your ATM PIN number so they can access your account online and steal money. If you notice anything suspicious when using an ATM, don’t enter your PIN. Instead, cancel your transaction and report the machine to the bank. There are also some ATM scams where a scammer will put a fake card reader over the slot on an ATM so that it reads your bank card or tracks your keystrokes as you enter your PIN.

If you notice anything that looks like it doesn’t belong on the machine, don’t use it. If you’re at a cash register and think your card might have been skimmed, cancel your payment and go elsewhere to pay. Make sure to report the incident to your bank immediately.

If you get an email from your bank or a company requesting personal information like your account number, PIN, credit card number, or security code, don’t reply. Scammers will trick you into giving up your information by pretending to be from a legitimate company. When shopping online, only do it from a secure website with an “s” at the end of the URL, for example,

Remember, you should always be cautious when sharing your personal information online. If you’re on a site that doesn’t end with “s,” or if you aren’t sure, navigate away as soon as possible. For reporting and assistance with identity theft or fraud, visit You can also report identity theft by calling 1-877-438-4338.

How To Avoid Phishing

Phishing is a type of fraud that can happen to anyone. Most people know that they shouldn’t click on links in emails from people they don’t know. But did you know that you should also be careful about clicking on links, even from people you know?

Phishing involves sending a fake email or text message from a legitimate source. The goal is to click on a link or attachment that installs malware or leads to a scam website. 

  • Don’t click on links in emails, even if they look legit. If unsure, go directly to the website by typing in the address.
  • Be suspicious of unusual email subjects. Scammers will use popular topics to get you to open their emails. For example, if you haven’t ordered flowers from a website before and receive an email from them, it’s probably not legit.
  • Some phishing emails include an attachment or a link to download an attachment. This is how they install malware on your device. Don’t open attachments.
  • Change your passwords immediately after downloading malware if you click on a suspicious link or open an attachment. 
  • Check your credit card transactions. If you do find suspicious charges, contact your bank immediately. -Be wary of links and ads that promise to give you access to free services or a “free” version of an app. This is usually a scam and will install malware on your device.
  • Be aware of third-party app stores. They sometimes contain apps that can be dangerous and can even put your device at risk. -When making purchases on your device, use caution. If you are buying an app or an in-app purchase, make sure it’s coming from the correct source.
  • Be sure to keep your operating system and apps up-to-date. This will ensure that you use the latest security measures to protect against cybercriminals.
  • Delete any unused apps or games on your device, as they can be a source of security threats.
  • When you download an app, you should check the developer’s website for any comments or reviews about the app. Also, check to see if any updates are available, and ensure you update your device regularly.
  • Use a password or PIN to lock your device when you are not using it.
  • Be sure that you have a current backup of all of your important photos, music, and contacts. These valuable items should never be lost. 
  • When connected to a Wi-Fi network, avoid using public and unsecured networks. Keep your device secure by only connecting to secured networks.
  • Do not save your banking information or any other sensitive information on your device’s SD card or SIM card. If you use a mobile banking app, don’t save your username and password. 
  • Use caution when downloading applications from third-party providers. These applications might not be secure and could put your device at risk for malware attacks or other security risks.
  • Do not leave your device unattended for an extended period. If you need to use your device while charging, ensure it is in a secure location where others cannot access and use it.
  • Keep your device updated with the latest software and security patches. This will help you avoid security vulnerabilities that could put your device at risk.
  • Install a mobile security application that detects malicious software and applications on your device.
  • Be aware of the permissions an application is requesting before installing it on your device. If an application requests access to sensitive data, such as your location or contacts, make sure you are comfortable with the application having this access before proceeding.
  • Only download software and applications from known reputable sources. Avoid downloading if you do not know who developed the software or application.
  • Verify any links you are sent via text message or email before opening them. If you are unsure, contact your local authorities to determine the validity of the link in question.
  • Keep your device updated at all times with the latest system software version. If a vulnerability is found, it will be addressed in a future software update.
  • Verify that your device has a security feature enabled to protect against malware. For example, iPhones and iPads have “Find My iPhone” or “Find My iPad” enabled by default.
  • If you think your device has malware, take it to a trusted technician. 
  • If you have become the victim of identity theft, contact your local authorities and the FTC at
  • If you believe your device has been taken by a stranger, contact your local authorities and consider placing a “Stolen” alert on your credit report.
  • If you believe your device was physically lost or stolen and then recovered, change the passwords on any accounts that may have been accessed by the unauthorized user.
  • When you use a public Wi-Fi network, use a secure network connection.
  • Always log out of social networking and other sites when you finish using them.

Be careful with what you post online. Once something is posted online, you may be unable to remove it. Visit for identity theft prevention tips. 

Beware Of Gift Card Scams

Gift cards are an excellent way to celebrate holidays and other important occasions. However, beware of scammers who might try to trick you into providing personal information or giving up access to your computer. If you receive an email with a link to a website asking for your personal information or instructing you to download software, do not click on the link.

Delete the email and type the site’s address into your browser. 

If you receive an email from a company asking you to provide personal information, do not reply to the email. Instead, call the company directly using the phone number provided on their official website or other published contact information.

If you open or respond to an email that appears to be from a legitimate company, but the requests in the email are not consistent with normal business practices, call the company using the published contact information and ask if they sent the email.

Forward suspicious emails to the Federal Trade Commission at and delete them. Report any online fraud, including phishing scams, to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Phishing victims should report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. 

How To Avoid Data Breaches

Use secure passwords to avoid credit and charge card fraud. That means establishing an eight-character password, including letters, numbers, and symbols. Use different passwords for different accounts. 

Consider using a password manager if you’re worried about forgetting your different passwords. This can help you keep track of your login information and secure your data.

Additionally, it’s important to know the signs of credit and charge card fraud. If you notice any unusual activity on your account, report it to your financial institution immediately. These precautions can help ensure that your personal information stays safe and sound.


Take steps to protect yourself from credit and charge card fraud. Regarding credit and charge card fraud, it’s essential to protect yourself. Avoiding fraud requires a few steps. 

First, be sure to keep your cards in a safe place. Report a lost or stolen card immediately to your card issuer. 

Second, never give your card number or personal information to anyone who calls you out of the blue. If you’re unsure, hang up and call your card’s number. 

Finally, regularly review your statements and report any unauthorized charges right away. By taking these simple measures, you can lower your risk of credit and charge card fraud. 


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