What Everybody Ought to Know about Protecting Themselves from Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft

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Protecting yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft has become even more important with the unrelenting succession of security breaches, such as last week's theft of 40 million credit card numbers. Here are seven specific things you can do now to help protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft.

Boone, NC (PRWEB) June 21, 2005 — With the relentless string of online and offline security breaches this year, including the most recent theft of 40 million credit card numbers reported by MasterCard last Friday, protecting yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft has become even more important. Internet ScamBusters, one of the oldest and most comprehensive online clearinghouses for information about Internet scams, has created a list of seven things you can do now to help protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft.

"Being smart and taking last year's protective measures is no longer enough," says Dr. Audri G. Lanford, Co-Editor of Internet ScamBusters. "When we learn about new online and offline security breaches every month, a more proactive approach is needed," says Dr. Lanford.

Internet ScamBusters’ list of seven specific things you can do to help protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft includes traditional advice (items #1, #2, #3, and #7), as well as some less known suggestions (#4, #5 and #6). Here is a summary:

1. Check your credit card and bank statements frequently and carefully.

2. Notify your card issuer immediately if you find any unauthorized charges on any of your credit card statements.

3. If you discover a problem, follow the advice in our article: "What to Do if Your Credit Card or Wallet is Stolen."

4. Consider using substitute, one-time use credit card numbers, called "controlled payment numbers" or "virtual account numbers," for your online purchases. These substitute numbers let you shop online without using your real credit card number so they protect you from security breaches, such as the theft of 40 million credit card numbers last week.

5. Consider a credit monitoring service. These services are controversial and expensive, but they may be worth thinking about given the growing problem of identity theft.

6. Consider putting a "fraud alert" on your credit file with the major credit card bureaus as a precautionary measure. Although there are certainly significant downsides to adding a "fraud alert," it is worth considering this option, especially if you don't want to invest in a credit monitoring service.

7. Follow the advice in our article, Credit Card Fraud: 21 Tips to Protect Yourself.

You can find the details about each of these suggestions to protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft here.

http://www.scambusters.org/mastercard.html

About Internet ScamBusters

Internet ScamBusters, the #1 publication on Internet fraud, shows you how to protect yourself from clever scammers — online and offline. Established in November 1994, it is a public service by Audri and Jim Lanford that includes a free weekly email newsletter. Internet ScamBusters offers a lively, entertaining and opinionated approach to avoiding the most popular scams, viruses, spyware, phishing scams, identity theft ploys, credit card fraud schemes, and urban legends making the rounds.

Contact Information:

Audri G. Lanford, Ph.D.

Internet ScamBusters

828-262-5885

http://www.scambusters.org

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