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St Louis Finance Experts Alert Borrowers About the Best 10 Ways to Avoid Credit and Debit Card Fraud





As borrowers we are bombarded with safety tips on how to protect our use of credit cards and now debit cards when we make transactions in person, on the phone or the Internet.

However, one may be caught totally off guard to know that identity theft can happen to you even when you still have your credit card or debt card in your possession.

There is a new kind of crime that is becoming more and more frequent called "skimming." Criminals are now taking full advantage of technology and can steal your credit card information at a moments notice.

Just recently reported by the St Louis Refinancing Group news team, skimming has received more news attention than ever due to banking incidents happening at Bank of America banks.

Criminals often use skimming tactics at retail establishments that would include gas stations, bars, restaurants and ATMs where credit and debit processing takes place.

Let's take for example an employee who decides to commit theft. They simply steal a customer's credit card information off the magnetic strip on the back doing so by means of scanning with a hand held electronic device.

Once they have your private financial information, they can now go on their dream shopping spree or sell your information to criminals where counterfeit cards are made.

Criminals are also targeting ATMs now. By using cameras or watching you as you key in your 4 digit pin code, these ruthless white collar thieves can now suck your bank dry.

Most consumers are unaware of the fraud that is perpetrated against them until their credit card or bank statement arrives in the mail and they see what purchases they did not make.

So, here are 10 tips to help keep your financial information private and safe:

1. Keep your personal information updated with your bank or financial institution. This is very important if an issue every occurs and you need to dispute any fraudulent charges.

2. In case your cards are ever lost or stolen, you absolute sure you have written down all customer service phone numbers found on the back of your cards and keep this list in a safe place.

3. If an ATM is in bad shape or run down, walk, no... run away! A sign of a dirty machine may signify that it is not working or may be a criminal clone wanting to steal your information.

4. Another tip that most consumers forget about is notifying your credit card company when you go on vacation and the destination of your travels. They can decline any suspicious charges much faster when they have this information.

5. Watch the signage at all ATMs. This may tip you off that something isn't right such as 'enter your PIN twice to complete transaction, etc.

6. If your bank(s) offers email banking alerts, make sure you sign up for them.

7. If an ATM appears to look damaged or has loose fitting parts, this may mean that someone has installed some type of skimming device.

8. Never do a transaction if suspicious or dangerous looking individuals are close by. Potential criminals may try to steal your cash or watch as you type your PIN number. If your card gets stuck in the ATM, call your bank and report the incident. If someone offers to help, just beware that it may be a scam artist wanting to get your financial information or perhaps harm you!

9. If you want to be extra sure no one is watching you type in your PIN number or capturing it on camera, cover the pin pad with your other hand thus blinding the onlooker.

10. Skimming can occur at any place accepting credit or debit cards. But more often than not, it occurs at retail locations such as a restaurant. It may be impossible to always do, but try to keep your card in sight when they do their processing. If they have to go to another counter or location of the store, follow them. And if you feel uncomfortable pay with cash or leave.

Another good piece of advice that was mentioned above is to check your balance on a regular basis when your statement arrives.

Consumers should also be aware that federal laws do not protect debit cards to the same degree as credit cards when it comes to fraud. So, use your credit card when possible or get a secured one to avoid headaches.

Always notify your bank or credit card company within two days of losing your cards. This may help limit your losses to $50. The worst thing you can do is prolong this needed phone call. You may end up suffering greater financial losses by waiting.
About Author Floyd J. Tapia :

Visit our website at <a href="http://www.StLouisRefinancingGroup.com" target="_blank">http://www.StLouisRefinancingGroup.com</a> to learn more about the best St Louis finance loan. Stop by Floyd J. Tapia's site at <a href="http://www.LibertyLendingConsultants.com" target="_blank">http://www.LibertyLendingConsultants.com</a> where you can find out about a St Louis refinancing mortgage. Or call us at 877-334-0210 or 314-334-0210.


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Article Added on Thursday, October 13, 2011
LD
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