Credit card companies say simple defensive measures can protect you from fraud. Easy steps include shredding new credit card offers and old credit card statements, and not leaving your payment envelope stuck on the mailbox. Other things you should do:
* Make sure your credit card company has your phone number so it can call if a suspicious charge appears.
* Don’t use your debit card for an Internet purchase. A thief could drain your account.
* If you get a call or email about an unusual charge on your account, give no information on the phone. Take a name and call back using the customer service telephone number.
* Keep track of your transactions. You should be able to tell the company what your last five purchases were.
* Use your credit card less often.
* Notify the company if a statement or new card fails to appear.
* Check your receipts against credit card charges, recommends Consumers Union.
* Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the card company phone numbers. Keep it in a secure location.