The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. offers tips to help consumers keep their credit and debit cards safe.
The agency urges consumers not provide payment card numbers in response to an unsolicited email, text message or phone call. Contacts can appear to come from well-known organizations. Still, these may be attempts to trick you into divulging card information.
Be careful at the checkout counter, ATM and gas pump.
Look for suspicious reading devices, like a plastic sleeve inside a card slot.
When you give a card to a clerk, make sure the card is not swiped through two devices instead of one, that second device could be recording your account information to commit theft.
Monitor monthly bank statements and credit card receipts. Even small transactions should be reported, since individuals may make small charges in hopes that those will go unnoticed by the account holders.
If your bank statement stops arriving, notify the card company right away, since this could be a sign that an identity thief has stolen your mail and/or account information to commit fraud.
Review your credit reports for signs of fraud. You are allowed one free report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus (go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com).
To read the full article, go to www.fdic.gov (type “Protecting Your Plastic from High-Tech Criminals” at the search site).