Your credit is your financial reputation. It’s how you qualify for a loan and may also matter when obtaining insurance or opening utilities. Because it’s so important, you should do all you can to protect your financial reputation (just as you would your personal reputation).
Unfortunately, credit card fraud continues to rise, so it’s critical you do all you can to protect yourself from fraud. Consider these essential tips to follow:
1. Sign your credit cards as soon as they arrive. Some people think they should put “ask for photo identification” on the back of their card instead of signing it. The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t recommend this practice because fraudsters can use your card easier if there is no signature and they have fake identification with your name on it.
2. Limit how many cards you carry. Only carry one or two cards at any given time; this will limit your exposure to any loss.
3. Keep records of your credit card information. It’s a good idea to record critical credit card information and keep it in a safe and secure place if your cards are lost or stolen: credit card numbers, expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each card issuer. In addition, keep an eye on your card during a transaction.
4. Destroy your credit card records when no longer needed. It’s an excellent habit to shred anything relative to your account that you don’t need to keep.
5. Review your statement when it arrives. Compare your statement with the receipts you’ve saved throughout the month, or use online or mobile banking if that’s how you track your transactions. If you find any discrepancies, immediately report them to your card issuer. Additionally, you contact your card issuer of any change of address before the change; you don’t want your statement going to your old address. To update or report anything related to your QCB credit card, call us at 405-755-1000.
6. Protect your account number and PIN. Never write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope. Additionally, don’t give your credit card number to anyone over the phone or via the Internet if you didn’t initiate the transaction. Most importantly, be sure to keep your cards to yourself. You should never share your credit cards with anyone else, even if it is a trusted friend.
7. Watch out 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 and utilize their services if you desire to do so. If an offer or advertisement seems “too good to be true,” it probably is. Don’t provide any information to anyone requiring you to pay a fee to participate in a lottery or to activate a new credit card.
8. Review your credit report at least once a year. By law, you’re allowed to receive one free credit report per year using www.annualcreditreport.com. If you find discrepancies on your report, contact any credit agency immediately as well as your credit issuer.
At QCB, we’re committed to helping you protect your credit reputation. We offer fraud protection services to monitor your cards and alert you in the case of any issues. Learn more about what we offer here.