Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

Education | 02/23/24
A stressed woman looks at her credit card with her laptop open.

As online commerce continues to grow, so does the prevalence of credit card fraud. Unfortunately, this sort of fraud can cause serious damage before the victim ever notices an issue. To help, Ascend has outlined what you need to know about credit card fraud, some steps you can take to protect yourself from it, and what to do when you’re targeted. 

What is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud occurs when a scammer gains access to a victim’s card information and uses it to spend the victim’s money or commit identity theft. 

It can occur in many ways:

  • Brute force attacks employ an auto-dialer to access a victim’s card number. The scammer can perform infinite guesses until they land on the card’s expiration date, security code, and numbers.
  • Online phishing is done through insecure links embedded in emails, online ads, and more. When a victim clicks on one of these links and enters their information, they unknowingly give it to the scammer.

How can you protect yourself from credit card fraud?

Follow these tips to safeguard against credit card fraud: 

  • Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements frequently so you can spot the first signs of fraud. Ascend’s digital banking platform gives you convenient, around-the-clock access to your account so you can always monitor card activity.
  • Sign up for fraud alerts. Many financial institutions, including Ascend, provide automated fraud alerts that will notify you of unusual account activity or transactions that may indicate fraud.  If a credit card transaction comes through that we are unsure of, Ascend will automatically contact you via phone call, text message, and email to help identify suspicious activity on your account.
  • Use strong, unique passwords across all your accounts. Consider using a passphrase, which is a sequence of words or a sentence that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.
  • Shop with caution. Only shop reputable sites and avoid clicking on pop-up ads or links in emails from unverified senders. To confirm a site’s security, look for the padlock icon and the “s” after the “http” in the URL. Avoid storing your credit card info in online shopping accounts. Finally, make sure the security settings on your devices are current.
  • Set up card controls. With Ascend’s card control features, you can easily enable or disable your Ascend card directly from your phone. You’ll also receive alerts when a transaction exceeds a designated amount, and you can disable international purchases. This is one of the best ways to secure your wallet, and you can do it without leaving the Ascend app.

What should you do if you’re targeted by credit card fraud?

If you suspect credit card fraud, take immediate steps to mitigate the damage. First, let the credit card company know about the fraud. If you’re an Ascend member and you believe you’ve fallen victim to credit card fraud, call us immediately at 800-342-3086.

By following the above tips, you can minimize your risk of falling victim to credit card fraud. Click here to learn more about Ascend’s fraud prevention measures.

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