Being the victim of credit card skimming is not a pleasant experience. No one wants to face tons of unauthorized charges on their credit card. The process of reporting your information stolen and fighting to have the charges removed can be long and tedious. With careful actions and some common sense, you can avoid being the next victim of a “skimmer”.

Keep track of your credit card spending. Instead of glancing at your monthly statement and noting the total, sit down and read it. Make sure that all of the purchases are legitimate. Keep your receipts for quick comparisons of purchases you may not remember. If you notice any discrepancies, contact your credit card company right away.

When using your credit card, always keep it in sight. Most “skimming” takes place when someone takes your card out of your view. They use this chance to scan the magnetic strip and steal your information. Instead of giving your card to a server, approach the cashier and pay the tab on your own. By keeping your card in your sights at all times, “skimmers” will have less opportunity to steal your information and use your card illegally.

Treat your credit card as carefully as you would valuable jewelry or cold, hard cash. Keep it on your person at all times and in your sight at all times.

When in doubt, use cash. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a purchase, use cash. It is important to keep cash on hand for these times. By using cash, you can avoid giving your credit card to someone who gives you a bad feeling.

Finally, in cases of “skimming”, take action right away. Contact your credit card company, the local authorities and the credit bureaus. Waste no time because the longer someone is using your information illegally, the more purchases he/she will make.

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