While the holidays are a fun time of the year to give gifts — it can be one of the most dangerous for your credit cards. Most of us will spend money in ways that are out of character for our habits. There is a good chance your holiday gift list will taking your spending into a place that you usually wouldn’t visit, and most will spend far more money than any other time of the year. These atypical transactions can make your credit vulnerable to fraud.
The holidays can be a considerable distraction, so you need to be diligent in checking on your credit card activity, whether online or in a store. Here are four ways from Chase Bank to help protect yourself from credit card fraud this holiday season and the one thing you need to do if you find out that your account is compromised.
- Trust the tech
Chances are your bank is already using cutting edge technology to keep you and your finances safe. A growing number of banks are implementing cutting-edge authentication tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) to compare purchases against a customer’s prior card usage. AI can calculate the probability that a card has been stolen or hacked—providing early warning of possible fraud.
- Lock it up
What if your card goes missing? A growing number of banks allow users to temporarily pause new transactions. These options offer ways to log on to the bank website or app and instantly block new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. When you’ve located your card, you can log back on and unlock your account. If your card has been stolen or permanently lost, you need to call your bank and report it missing after you have paused further transactions.
- Stay notified
If you haven’t already signed up for bank notifications, do it now. Most banks offer phone, text, and email to alert customers and verify recent activity. These early notifications can alert you to any to suspicious activity and ensure unusual holiday purchases aren’t evidence of a card breach.
- Check your accounts
Always be diligent about monitoring your credit card activity, especially during the holiday season. While AI can detect significant suspicious charges, it may not detect smaller inaccuracies. For that reason, it’s important to review regularly your transactions.
What to do when your card has fraudulent charges
Credit card fraud happens even when you are careful. So, if you think you’re compromised, call your bank immediately. While it’s impossible to protect against fraud, tools such as account notifications, increased security, and others can help you ensure that you’re still protected even when the worst happens.