Credit card fraud is a serious problem that can affect people from all backgrounds. A savvy person who follows a few simple rules can avoid problems and protect their personal information. With that being said, here are the six top reasons you are likely to become a victim of credit card fraud.

1. Old statements

When receiving a statement in the mail, many look it over and then discard it in their recycling bin or trash can. Often, criminals will drive through neighborhoods on trash day and ransack the bins looking for personal information. Sadly, statements offer a goldmine of data that allow a well-trained criminal to do plenty of damage to the individual’s credit report. To avoid this problem, a consumer must destroy all their old credit card statements before putting them in the trash or recycling pile. A consumer must remember that old methods are still popular to get access to data, and they must take steps to destroy this information.

2. Emails

Some criminals now resort to using technology to exploit their victims and obtain vital personal information. Often, a customer will receive an email from a criminal asking the person to verify their personal information. To the dismay of the person receiving the email, they will later find out it was a fake website designed to steal a user’s personal information. To avoid an issue, the client must call his or her bank or credit card provider to verify any suspicious emails.

3. Carrying too many cards

Many people carry four or five credit cards in their wallet. This leaves them vulnerable should they lose their wallet or even temporally misplace it in a crowded area. When this happens, and someone gains access to the cards, the person will likely become a victim of fraud. It is simple to avoid this provided a person carries only one or two credit cards in their wallet or purse. This will also make it easier when a person loses their wallet or purse; they will have fewer companies to call to report the lost card.

4. Online shopping

Now, when looking to buy an item, many head online as they can save money and time. However, one must understand that it is not always safe to shop on the Internet. In fact, when using an unknown retailer that does not have SSL protection, one will send their data insecurely. When doing this, hackers can see the information and exploit it by using the credit card elsewhere. One must remember, when shopping on the Internet, it is smart to do some research on the store and make sure they are legitimate and have plenty of security measures.

5. Signature

A person must sign the back of their credit card as retailers and restaurants should verify this. Sadly, most people do not sign the back of their cards and a criminal, with their hands on the card, can use their own signature and trick an employee. While this many overlook this, it is crucial to for a consumer to sign the back of cards as soon they receive them in the mail.

6. Check statements

All too often, a person will fall victim to fraud and not realize it for months. Often, a criminal will use a card for a small transaction to test out the card. When it goes unnoticed by the customer, the thief will likely use it for a larger transaction. Ideally, one would log on to their banking website or check their statements every month and verify all transactions are legitimate.

When knowing how criminals work, one can avoid problems with credit card fraud. Without a doubt, a proactive approach will enable an individual to avoid most issues from occurring. You can also stay one step ahead of these fraudsters by using one of the best credit monitoring service you can afford. For under $30 a month, you can minimize the damage caused by an identity theft by being alerted to suspicious activity on your credit bureau.