Payment fraud happens when someone uses information from your checks, credit and debit cards, or any other form of payment without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. But this, and other forms of identity theft, can be avoided if you know how to protect yourself.
Avoid Being a Victim of Payment Fraud
While these tips may seem like common sense, it's an important reminder on how to avoid criminal access to your payment information:
- Balance your checkbook, and verify all account and credit card statements as soon as they arrive.
- Keep all checks, credit, and debit cards in a safe place.
- Don't leave outgoing checks or paid bills in your mailbox, and report lost or stolen items immediately.
- Don’t write PIN numbers on your credit or debit cards, or leave them in your wallet for a thief to find.
- Use a paper shredder to securely dispose of any documents containing personal information.
- Make online purchases only from trusted web sites. If you have questions about a company, you can check them out with the Better Business Bureau.
- Consider paying all your bills electronically with online bill pay. This method is considered more secure than mailing paper checks.
Reducing your risk of identity theft starts with protecting your personal information. Keep it from getting into the wrong hands by following these simple tips.