Credit card fraud. Feels like we hear about it all the time. So here are some tips that can help you avoid scams, protect your personal information and prevent your card number from being stolen.

Keep it safe

  • Always keep your credit card bills, numbers, user names, passwords and PIN (personal identification number) in a safe place. Don't write your PIN on the back of a card or carry it in your wallet.

Keep it to yourself

  • Don't give out your Social Security number, credit card number, or debit card number over the phone to someone you don't trust, even if you're told it's to claim a prize. And never give out that information in an email.

Keep it memorable

  • When it comes to your PIN, stay away from obvious numbers like your birthday or phone number. Instead, pick something only you would understand—but that's easy to remember.

So what do you do when your personal information does appear on something like a paper statement or bill?

Shred it

  • Feed those old documents to the shredder, including pre-approved credit card offer letters, receipts, and bank statements you no longer need. Same goes for expired cards.

Take it

  • Never leave receipts behind where someone could pick them up—especially at the ATM, gas pump, restaurant, or stores like supermarkets.

Sign it

  • It's easy to forget, but signing the back of your credit card or debit card as soon as you get it in the mail matters. This can help the cashier make sure it's really you.

It's always good to be prepared. But even with the best precautions in place, things can happen. That's why you should also know what to do if your credit card is lost or stolen. Every little bit helps when it comes to keeping yourself safe.

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