Avoid credit card fraud with these tips
- Keep a list of your credit card numbers, expiration dates, and the phone
numbers of all card issuers in a safe place.
- Credit card issuers offer a variety of terms (annual percentage rates, methods
of calculating balances subject to finance charges, minimum monthly payments,
and actual membership fees). When selecting a card, compare the terms offered
by several card companies to find the card that suits your needs.
- When you use your credit card, watch your card after giving it to a clerk. Take
your card back promptly after the clerk is finished and make sure the card is
- Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the
total when you sign receipts. Tear up the carbons when you take your credit card
- Open credit card bills promptly and compare them with your receipts to check
for unauthorized charges and billing errors.
- Write card issuers promptly to report any questionable charges. Written
inquires should not be included with your payment. Instead, check the billing
statement for the correct address for billing questions. The inquiry must be in
writing and must be sent within 60 days to guarantee your rights under the Fair
Credit Billing Act.
- Avoid giving your credit card number over the telephone unless you know the
company is trustworthy. Never write your card number on a post card or on the
outside of an envelope.
- Sign new cards as soon as they arrive. Destroy expired cards. Cut up and
return unwanted cards to the issuer.
- If one of your credit cards is missing or stolen, report the loss as soon as
possible to the card issuer. Check your credit card statement for a telephone
number to report the stolen card. Follow up your phone call with a letter to the
card issuer. The letter should contain your card number, the date the card was
missing, and the date you reported the loss.
- If you report the loss before a credit card is used, the issuer cannot hold you
responsible for any subsequent unauthorized charges. If a thief uses your card
before you report it missing, the most you will owe for unauthorized charges on
each card is $50.
For more information contact Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Section at 800-351-4889 or www.agjefflandry.com
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