How does this happen?
One of the most common types of fraudulent activity is credit card identity theft or credit fraud, which can happen through either physical or digital means.
Physical credit card theft can come in the form of skimmers, subtle mechanisms that can be placed over credit card readers at an ATM, gas station, or any place that uses an automated credit card reader. When you enter your card, the skimmer reads your credit card information without you knowing that anything has been stolen, and the identity thief has access to the entire credit limit on your card.
Another example of credit card theft is the physical theft of credit card offers that have been improperly disposed of. When you throw away credit card offers that you receive in the mail with starter cards attached to them, identity thieves can pull the cards from your trash and use the cards as if they were you.
Credit fraud theft can happen in many different forms. It’s important to be aware of these threats, especially when shopping or banking online where your financial information is more vulnerable to hackers and you can be exposed to malware or other phishing attempts.
Can you protect yourself?
There are steps that can be taken to help prevent identity theft such as protecting sensitive documents, avoiding banking on public Wi-Fi, and never keeping credit card numbers stored digitally. However, despite your safeguarding efforts, there is no method that will 100% guarantee that your financial information will be safe.
Card skimmers and online thieves are intentionally hard to detect, so it is not always easy to prevent. That’s where Identity Guard can help. With our variety of products, we specialize in helping people help protect themselves from identity theft. From a comprehensive credit monitoring program to a personal privacy protection plan, Identity Guard can help you find the right service to fit your needs and lifestyle.