The hidden dangers of possessing your own credit card

Swiping your credit card for any item you desire is available at almost any business or venue you attend.  With the exception of a few cash only businesses, find out where the riskiest places you can swipe your debit or credit card and why. Many people have heard of credit card scammers…but what about credit card skimmers?  Scammers can get access to your information using a skimmer, basically making a cloned copy of your card on another card and using your information just as easily as you do.  You may think, well that is why I have a pin number for my debit card, however if you run it as credit you only have to know the area code that the cardholder lives in. Pretty easy to deduce on your own.  So where are the riskiest places to swipe your card that a scammer with a skimmer can get your info?

Outside venues that swipe your card are the most vulnerable. Anywhere you can think of that is outside, where you pump your gas; outdoor vendors with debit cards, outdoor ATM machines are the easiest for scammers to use the device.  Any business that keeps your information on file is at risk. If you have a recurring payment at a local vendor even for your gas bill, make sure that your information is secured and not at risk.  Even restaurants can be a place where you need to be careful; your server takes your debit/credit card and leaves the table for however long with your card information. It is possible that a not so honest person could copy the numbers, expiration date, and also ask to see your ID and get your area code.  All of these are possibilities you may not have considered when handing out the plastic to make your purchases.

How can you be safe?  Check your bank account and check it often.  Talk to your personal banker about charges that look suspicious, even if it turns out to be a swipe for a few dollars when you realized you didn’t have cash on hand, better safe than sorry then to have your bank account drained by a few dollars here and there.  Also many credit card companies and banks offer extra protection to watch your bank account for you and call you when something suspicious comes up. This may be a valuable asset to you when you realize that unauthorized money is missing from your account.  Use cash.  Yes, plastic is convenient, but for those venues where you are not sure how your information is being kept safe, withdraw some cash and give yourself some piece of mind.

For more information watch this video.