Credit Card Safety Articles

The Jury Duty Scam, and How to Avoid It

If you’re not careful, a thief might use something called the “jury duty scam” to steal your credit card information

Identity thieves love to steal credit card information, and one way they’ve been doing it recently is with the simple jury duty scam. Victims have reported this con all over the U.S. since the mid-2000s… and the odd thing is that it took the bums so long to come up with it.

While it’s not terribly common, it epitomizes a clever way thieves steal personal data by enlisting the aid of an unexpected accomplice: the targeted victim. So let’s take a closer look at this scam, and how to avoid it and its relatives.

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An Honest To Goodness Credit Card Alarm

Worried that you might forget your credit card somewhere? Get a credit card alarm

In the world of credit card security features, the credit card alarm has to take the cake. That’s not to say that it’s a bad idea, because it’s not; but it’s definitely unique. Unlike most security features, it’s neither embedded nor passive. It lets you know immediately if something’s wrong.

Let’s take a closer look at what it’s all about.

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Beware Gift Card Scams

Gift card scams are on the rise. Here’s what you need to know to avoid them

When it comes to overall sneakiness, gift card scams have got to take the cake.

Now that people are becoming more aware of identity theft, it’s getting harder for those oh-so-clever high-tech criminals to snatch information from debit and credit cards that they can use to buy free goodies and otherwise line their pockets.

But gift cards, those limited-use credit cards we love to give each other for Christmas and birthdays — they’re still fair game, because most consumers and, worse, the retailers, haven’t caught onto their tricks yet.

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A Stolen Credit Card You Didn’t Even Know You Had

By the time you read this, someone may have already destroyed your credit using a stolen credit card that you never even knew about

We all know what a pain in the keister it is to deal with a stolen credit card, or at least we can guess. If you’ve never experienced it yourself, you probably know someone who has. Yours truly once had a whole wallet full of cards stolen, and I can assure you, it’s no picnic.

But that’s not the worst thing that can happen with a credit card theft. Someone might go hog-wild with a credit card you even never knew you had.

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How to Destroy a Credit Card the Right Way

We’ve all had to destroy a credit card or two, for one reason or another. Here’s how to do it right, so you can protect your private information

When you get right down to it, the surest way to destroy a credit card is probably to dissolve it in a vat of nitric or sulfuric acid. Sadly, most of us don’t have access to a chemistry lab, and strong acid tends to be both expensive and highly regulated.

Failing that, there are a number of other, simpler ways you can assure that your old credit cards are destroyed so thoroughly that dumpster divers and other clever identity thieves can’t get ahold of your personal information. A few snips just ain’t gonna cut it (to coin a phrase).

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Here’s a New Idea: a Limited Use Credit Card

More and more, credit cards are required to guarantee hotel and rental car reservations. This is where a limited use credit card comes in handy

These days, I think it’s a good idea to set up what I think of as a “limited use” credit card account for travel and Internet use. Instead of using your high-limit Visa or MasterCard to reserve a room or pay for World of Warcraft, use a more constrained card that can’t be easily hijacked for credit card fraud.

What the heck do I mean? Read on, and I’ll tell you.

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Recognizing Bad Credit Cards and Credit Scams

Learn the warning signs of bad credit cards and other underhanded tricks.

Unfortunately, bad credit cards are no longer the only type of credit scam out there. Even though they’re the most prominent, there are more and more people willing to take advantage of anyone in need. Part of this probably stems from our struggling economy — more people are struggling financially, and more people need credit. Part also comes from the fact that we’re an increasingly credit based society.

Regardless of the reasons, though, it’s important that you recognize the signs of bad credit cards and credit scams before you get sucked in.

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How Credit Card Offers Damage Your Credit

While credit card offers might seem like a good thing, in fact, they can a lot of damage to your credit rating. Here’s how.

We usually think of credit card offers, especially pre-approved credit card offers, as a good thing. Usually it indicates a reasonably high credit rating — after all, companies aren’t eager to offer credit to someone with a poor history. And in many ways, credit card offers are very positive.

However, two situations arise where these offers can be more trouble than they’re worth: in terms of identity theft and in terms of negative marks on your credit score.

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Is Paypal Credit Card Friendly?

We all know about Paypal credit card policies, but is it really as safe as it seems?

Chances are that if you shop online, you make some Paypal credit card purchases. But if, like me, credit card theft is a very real fear: how safe is this? Transmitting financial data online sounds pretty unsafe. Is it really that secure?

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Some Simple and Straightforward Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Credit cards can be both a blessing and a curse – and those who have been the victims of credit card fraud understand that sentiment all too well. Used cautiously, they can make purchases both in-person and online much easier to conduct. Used irresponsibly, or without the necessary oversight, however, credit cards can make you more vulnerable to fraud and wreak havoc on your finances. Here’s some tips for avoiding the darker side of the credit card world.

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