Have you been a victim of credit card fraud in the past? Perhaps you are worried about being caught out in the future? Whatever the case, it’s important to protect your account details going forward. Dishonesty and theft can take place right underneath your nose, so here are four scams to be aware of:

Card not present fraud

Whether you use your credit card to buy high-value items online, over the phone, or in store, be sure to destroy all receipts. Fraudsters can access your credit card details from previous transactions and use them to buy a wide range of expensive goods at your expense. As long as the retailer doesn’t actually need to see the card in question, criminals can shop ‘til they drop, leaving you with nothing in the bank.

Cash machine ATM fraud

According to The UK Cards Association, total losses on UK cards hit £185m in the first six months of the year. With technology such as Chip and PIN helping to deter fraud, unlawful citizens are getting hold of personal information by distracting people at cash machines and stealing their cards. That’s why’s it’s important to stay alert whenever you get money out the wall and to report anything suspicious.

Counterfeit fraud

Unfortunately, some dishonest people attach card skimming devices to cash machines or Chip and PIN pads in a bid to copy sensitive information. If they are successful, data from your card’s magnetic stripe can be transferred onto a fake magnetic stripe and this is known as counterfeit fraud. The new card can then be used at home or abroad and your money will be stolen. To prevent this from happening, never let your card out of your sight and don’t use a machine if it looks like it has been tampered with.

Mail not received fraud

Believe it or not, cards can be stolen in the post before the cardholder receives them and used for unlawful purchases. Often, this means people wait a long time for their card to arrive without realising what’s going on – but there are ways to resolve this. If you are worried, it’s a good idea to ask for all credit cards and personal documents to be sent via Recorded Signed For™ delivery. Not only will you know what to expect, but you will be able to report lost post if there is a problem.

With Christmas rapidly approaching applying for a credit card online is a great way to get your finances in order, just make sure you look after your new bit of plastic when it arrives.

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Mike, aka The Dividend Guy, authors The Dividend Guy Blog since 2010 and manages portfolios at Dividend Stocks Rock. He is a passionate investor.