One of your nightmares could be your card ending up in the wrong hands as a credit cardholder.
According to Experian, 41% of Americans have reported fraudulent credit card charges. You may think that password carelessness or lost cards are the only ways for fraudsters to target you. However, identity thieves have several ways to access your card. Take extra care and monitor any suspicious activity on your card.
Check your balance often
Be aware of your balance at all times. If you notice that more of your credit becomes unavailable, this could indicate that someone else used your card. Sometimes, fraudsters will make small purchases on your card to see if the card works. They will slowly move up to larger purchases.
Watch your location
Your credit card tracks where you make purchases and where payments occur. A fraudster may not be in your area and may not frequent the same companies or locations that you do. Look for payments from different locations or unknown companies. This is an indicator that someone else has your card.
Check your statements
Your statements list all of your recent purchases. If you see strange or unusual purchases, you need to investigate those as quickly as possible. If you did not make a purchase, someone else probably did. Fraud can happen at any time, so stay vigilant.
When you know the signs of credit card fraud, it is easier to catch a fraudster before he or she maxes your card or destroys your credit. Once you report your card, banks typically shut it off until the issue becomes resolved.