Unfortunately credit card fraud is really quite common these days, but there are ways that you can help to protect yourself. Becoming a victim of credit card fraud causes a lot of unnecessary hassle and is a very stressful experience.

You should familiarize yourself with the security features that the credit card company includes with your card. If you are looking to get a new credit card, make sure that it offers plenty of security.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud is to check the credit card statements you receive each month and look at the billing entries. This also helps you to understand your spending habits and helps to make sure that your budgeting is on track. By checking your statement you will be able to tell if there are any strange transactions on your account. If you notice a possible fraudulent charge, you should make immediate contact with your credit card company and inform them. The credit card provider will then look into the transaction and if it is not a legitimate entry they will then put measures in place to try to recover the money that was illegally taken from your account.

Another way that you can protect yourself from fraud is to never reply to emails that appear to be sent from your bank or your credit card company. These fake emails try to steal your personal information when you attempt to enter the web address they send for some sort of verification. Emails from banks should always be viewed with caution. Only ever reply if you know for certain that the email was sent from your bank or credit card provider. If you are unsure, either contact the company using a phone number you know to be legitimate or ignore and delete the message.

Always keep your credit card near you, and in sight, when making a payment and ensure that it is given back to you promptly. This will help to keep it safe from ‘skimming’, where an unscrupulous sales person may steal your credit card information to use later. Keep the card in a safe place at all times.

Never share your PIN (Personal Identification Number) with anyone, including members of your family. And never write the number on the card or on anything kept near your card. Your PIN should never be shared with anyone phoning on the pretext of confirming something on your account. Banks and credit card companies will never ask for your PIN.

Transactions using credit cards do not need the physical card so it is up to you to make sure your details are protected at all times. If you ever become aware of any credit card fraud on your account take action immediately to stop any further illegal activity.

Author's Bio: 

Lyn Bell has been in the finance industry for more than 30 years and is a Certified Financial Planner. She has helped many clients achieve their financial goals. Lyn can be visted at her website www.soundfinance.com
and her blog at www.soundfinanceblog.blogspot.com
As an avid Squidoo fan she has a lens devoted to finance http://www.squidoo.com/soundfinance