BBB FRAUD ALERT
Card-issuers will never call or email you, asking you to ‘verify’ your account information. They already have it.
Ignore any threats or expression of urgency you receive by phone or email, indicating that your account will be de-activated if you do not respond immediately and ‘verify’ your information.
You are your own best line of defense to protect yourself from credit card fraud. Here's how:
- Sign your card immediately when you receive it in the mail.
- Carry only the cards you expect to use, and keep them secure.
- Secure — in your home — other cards you may not regularly use.
- Keep a list of account and telephone numbers for your card issuers in case your cards are lost
or stolen. Once you report the loss or theft, you will not be liable for unauthorized
- Keep a copy of this list both at home and at your work.
- Notify your card issuer(s) in advance if you have a change of address.
- Notify your card issuer(s) in advance if you plan to travel outside the US and use the credit card.
- Be very cautious about giving anyone your account number.
- Do not give your cards to anyone.
- Keep your pass code and personal pin number secure. Do not put it in writing
and do not share it with anyone.
- Use only reputable companies with secure websites for online shopping.
- Email is not secure. Never include your credit card number (or SS Number) in an email.
- Shred all paper documents containing your personal identifiers (account number, name, address) before disposing.
If you discover that unauthorized charges have been made to your account or that someone has opened an account in your name,
it’s important to contact your lender immediately and explain what has happened to a fraud investigator. The bank can close your
account before additional unauthorized charges can be made, then transfer your balance to a new account and send you a new card.
Work with the fraud investigator to remove fraudulent charges from the account, and submit any required paperwork as quickly as
Also file a report with police department in the jurisdiction where the fraud or theft took place, and keep a copy for
your records. If an unauthorized account has been opened in your name, notify the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion)
and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your account, which requires potential lenders to contact you before opening new credit
in your name. It can take identity thieves a while to make their move, so keep watch on your credit report every few months —
you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus from www.annualcreditreport.com.
Stagger your requests to each bureau so you can get a free copy from one bureau every four months.
BBB Tip: Indicators of a Secure Web Site
Look for well-known seals…and then roll your cursor over the seal to see if it’s active and clicks through to the seal-issuer.
Common online seals of authenticity or security include (among others)
- BBB Accredited Business
- Yahoo Merchant