Ways to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

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For many people, credit and debit cards are a way of life. They’re quick, they’re convenient and they keep people from having to carry cash. Sometimes, they even help worthy causes — BancorpSouth’s Pink Card, for instance, supports breast cancer research.

However, credit card fraud is a risk with any credit or debit card.

What’s your best defense against this crime? Let’s take a look at some precautions you can take, outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

Sign your cards

Sign the back of your credit and debit cards as soon as they arrive. If an identity thief has your card and a fake identification with your name on it, what is to stop him or her from using the card?

Carry your cards safely

As a precaution, limiting the number of cards you have at once is a good idea. It will limit your exposure to loss if you only have one or two cards at a time. It is equally important to watch your transaction wherever you are shopping to ensure that the merchant doesn't try and copy your card number.

If you have a credit or debit card through BancorpSouth, any question, issue or compromised card can be taken care of through your local branch or by contacting the BancorpSouth InfoLine to speak with a Customer Service Representative.

Review your statements or check your accounts online

Be sure to open each credit card statement you receive and review it for accuracy. If you find any discrepancies, report them to your card issuer as soon as you can. Furthermore, be sure to notify your card issuer of any change of address prior to that change; you don’t want your statement going to your old address.

BancorpSouth offers Zero Fraud Liability, which takes the worry away when your card is lost or stolen and you report it to us in a timely manner.

Protect your account number and PIN

To protect your account number, never write it on a postcard or the outside of an envelope or give it to someone over the phone or on the internet when you did not initiate the transaction. Additionally, you should never write down your PIN needed for cash withdrawals on or near your card. Most importantly, be sure to keep your cards to yourself. You should never share your credit cards with anyone else, even a trusted friend.

Be alert for scams

If you receive a letter or phone call from a company stating they will protect you from credit card fraud if you provide them with all of your credit and other personal financial information, don’t do it. Talk to your credit card issuer about fraud protection plans they have, and utilize their services if you desire to do so.

Review your credit report

One of the most important things you can do is review your credit report on an annual basis. By law, you are allowed to receive one free credit report per year, so take advantage of that option if you haven't already received yours this year. If you find anything out of order on your credit report, contact your credit agency and/or your credit issuer immediately.

At BancorpSouth, we are committed to helping you understand your rights as a credit card user. Stop by any one of our branches to learn more about your credit card options.