Credit Card Fraud: Prevention Tips

Suggestions from Internet ScamBusters subscribers about credit card fraud prevention

Here are some credit card fraud protection suggestions we recently received from our subscribers. These credit card fraud protection suggestions are in response to ScamBusters Issue #80.

Credit card fraud prevention suggestion #1:

The section on whether to sign or not sign the back of credit cards is interesting but does not in the least conform to my experience. I’ve had and used credit cards for almost 30 years and no one has EVER asked me to sign an unsigned credit card before accepting it. Visa, MC, Amex, etc. may SAY that’s what they tell merchants but, if they do, it’s probably buried somewhere in three yards of fine print that no one but lawyers ever read.

I write “Please Ask For Photo ID” with a permanent marker in the signature space of all my credit cards. About half of the clerks that accept cards never bother to look at the back. About a third of those that do only go through the motions. They glance at my driver’s license so quickly it’s clear they did nothing more than stare blankly in the direction. When I’m feeling ornery I ask them what city I live in, which is, of course, on the license. So far none has been able to say. When a clear asks to see my ID and honestly looks I always thank them.

Here is how I protect my credit cards:

1. I try to never let a card out of my sight. Many stores now let customers self-swipe cards, which is great! I have a separate card for places where I must hand over my card (like restaurants) that I use infrequently and monitor frequently.

2. I only carry the cards I need at the moment. The rest are locked up at home. I either cancel seldom used cards or store them in my bank safe deposit box.

3. My bank and all the card issuers I use offer on-line statements. I check them frequently, no less than once a week.

4. I keep receipts and match them to billing statements. Programs like Quicken make this easy.

5. I keep multiple copies of card issuer 800 numbers handy in case I need to cancel stolen cards.

6. I never mail my bill payments from home. Always drop them inside the Post Office.

7. And all of my credit cards say “Please Ask For ID” on the back.

I know these steps don’t guarantee I won’t be ripped off but I think they reduce the risk.

Thanks for a great newsletter!


Credit card fraud prevention suggestion #2:

Hi… thank you for your ScamBusters articles… I too appreciate them and am pleased you are taking the time to do it more often. I know it is a lot of work for you.

I wanted to comment on the signing or not signing of credit cards. I agree with the SEE ID position, however… my job took me to Europe nearly once a week. No one in Europe would accept my credit card with or without ID unless it was signed. You can keep the SEE ID written on the back, but unfortunatly your name must be signed so that merchants will accept it

I, too, received the oil/gas prices email. No I didn’t send it on. I no longer feel the need to save the world with the barage of chain letters that come to me… even if they threaten my good luck or promise me the moon and fulfillment of my wishes. So far, knock on wood, our house is still standing, our health is fine and my husband, the dog and the cats seem ok for my not forwarding them.

I look forward to reading Audri’s suggestion, “Success Alert: Conversations with Sussessful Internet Etrepreneurs.” Thank you.


Credit card fraud prevention suggestion #3:

My friend had “see photo ID” or something like that written on his credit cards. It didn’t help him much when his son, John Smith, Jr. took his Dad’s wallet and went shopping. He had photo ID with a 18 year old’s picture and the same name as Dad.


Click here for credit fraud prevention suggestions #4 through #7