This may differ from my usual techy posts, but we all have credit cards and know that theft, fraud and abuse are is pervasive. There have been many seminars, articles and social media advice around this topic but all the ones I have seen miss one simple step. This occurred to me in a conversation with my local hardware store owner, Drew, who just attended such a seminar that morning and hadn’t thought about or been told this one easy thing. I apologize in advance if you already do this, but I’m amazed that 90% of the people I’ve spoken to to about it, don’t do it. Do your friends a favor and pass this along.
So here it is. Assuming you have online access to your Credit Card account(and if you don’t, set it up), just go to your account settings and ‘Notifications’ and setup your email and/or cellphone to notify you of new charges. This way you immediately know when a charge has occurred and can make sure it is your legitimate charge. If it’s fraud, you’ll know immediately and can contact your Credit Card provider shutting down the abuse and protecting you from any further potential loss.
Simple. since I was making a purchase from the aforementioned hardware store. I used my credit card and within 5 seconds of completing the purchase. my cell phone chirped a notification. Then I turned around and showed Drew. It showed his store name and amount. He was surprised and delighted.
Some added hints. I’d suggest doing the same Notifications setup for you bank accounts and Debit Cards as well. If a fraudulent transaction occurs and you notify your bank right away, you stand a better chance of recovering any lost funds. Debit Cards also have less fraud protection from the banks than Credit Cards, ie you could be on the hook for fraudulent charges.
Finally, I recently purchased a new wallet with RFID protection. Apparently, the new security chips in credit cards and passports can be RFID scanned by a thief passing by with a simple readily available scanner stealing your private account details. These new RFID wallets have a material built-in that blocks the scanners.
So be smart and stay safe!