Resource Corner

How to Keep Your Credit Card Safe From Fraud

Learn how to protect you and your business from credit card fraud.

Some security risks are beyond your control, but there are ways to protect your information and reinforce existing safeguards. With some vigilance, maintenance and added layers of security, you can protect your credit card information.

To help prevent fraudulent use of your credit card, here are a few steps you should take.

  • Check your credit cards accounts often. Reviewing your recent account activity is fundamental to credit card safety—and it’s easy. You can do it online or by phone. If your credit card issuer offers email or text alerts about unusual activity, sign up to receive them.
    • What to do if you suspect credit card fraud. Call the bank or financial institution that issued your card immediately. Your issuer may want to cancel your current card and issue you a new one. Check with your issuer to verify that your mailing address has not been changed. If you still have your card but fraudulent purchases have been made, call your issuer to report the fraud and request a new card. Also, contact the credit bureaus to let them know that fraud has occurred. A "Fraud Alert" message will be placed on your file. You should also request a copy of your credit report and review it carefully. 

  • Avoid giving out your credit card information. Only give your credit card number or other sensitive information on calls you initiate. Not only that, when you call your credit card issuer's customer service, use the number on the back of your credit card. Don't return calls to a phone number left on your voicemail or sent to you in an email or text message. 

  • Don't give your credit card number to anyone who calls you requesting the number. Credit card thieves have been known to pose as credit card issuers and other businesses to trick you into giving out your credit card number.

  • Keep your card account numbers and personal identification number (PIN#) in a confidential place.

  • Check your cards periodically to make sure none are missing & report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.  The sooner you report a missing credit card the sooner your credit card issuer can cancel your credit card and prevent fraudulent charges. Write down your credit card companies' customer service numbers now so you'll have them if your credit cards are ever missing.

  • After you make a purchase put your credit card away immediately. Confirm you have your credit card back in your possession before you leave the store or restaurant.  Thieves can take pictures of your credit card with a camera or cell phone, so don't leave your credit card exposed any longer than necessary.

  • Don't sign blank credit card receipts.  Always verify the amount on your credit card receipt before signing it. If you get a credit card receipt that has blank spaces in it, write $0 in those spaces or draw through them before putting your signature on the card. Otherwise, the cashier could write in an amount and send the purchase to your credit card issuer.

  • Destroy and dispose of copies of receipts, airline tickets, travel itineraries, and anything that displays your card numbers.

  • NEVER give anyone the password that you use to log on to your online account.

  • Don't provide financial account information unless you are paying for a purchase using that account and be safe with your credit card online.  Don't click on email links from anyone that looks like your bank, credit card company, or other business that uses your personal information, even if the email looks legitimate. Instead, go directly to that business's website to log on to your account.  Make sure you're cautious when you're using your credit card online. Only enter your credit card number on secure websites that you can be 100% sure are legitimate. To be sure a website is secure, look for https:// in the address bar and lock in the lower right corner of your internet browser. Taking these extra steps will help you avoid credit card fraud.

  • Check gas stations and ATMs for credit card skimmers. Credit card thieves sometimes place credit card skimming devices onto the credit card readers at gas pumps or ATMs.

  • Make strong passwords and keep them safe. Your credit card number may be stored in a number of places online. For example, you may save your credit card on Amazon so you can make one-click purchases. 

  • Review your billing statements each month. Unauthorized charges on your credit card are the first sign of credit card fraud. If you notice a charge you didn't make, no matter how small, report the charge to your credit card issuer immediately. Your credit card issuer will tell you whether you should close your account and get a new account number to avoid credit card fraud.


All content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and tax or accounting advisors before making any financial decisions.