Unless you avoid using credit cards altogether, no one can fully prevent credit card fraud. The Federal Trade Commission says in 2017, credit card fraud was the biggest type of identity theft in the United States with over 133,000 cases reported.
The problem is only getting worse. People with existing credit card accounts filed 20% more fraud reports in 2017 compared to the year prior.
“The amount of credit card transactions that occur every day, it creates a larger opportunity for the bad guys to get a hold of that information,” says Trevor Buxton, fraud communications manager at PNC Bank.
He says there are ways consumers can protect themselves from credit card fraud:
Check often for suspicious activity
Do you check your Facebook and Twitter feeds every day? Buxton says you should be just as diligent with your card activity.
“Folks would be wise to check their card activity regularly or as often as they would their social media feeds,” he says. “Make it a habit to check your account activity at least once a day. That way you can stay on top of some of these fraudulent transactions that may be occurring.”
Use secure payment methods
For an added level of security when using your credit card, Buxton suggests using mobile pay with biometric authorization, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Biometrics rely on unique biological characteristics that verify who you are, such as your thumbprint or facial recognition.
“With that biometric authorization component, it’s much more difficult for a fraudster to use that mobile payment information to make purchases,” he says.
Buxton says EMV chip card technology has also made shopping more secure.