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In today’s advanced society, making a credit card payment by phone is a fairly common practice. Still, there is a chance the cardholder can fall victim to credit card fraud and identity theft. Fortunately, there are precautions the cardholder can take to increase credit card security. Examples include always initiating the phone call during which the payment is to take place and keeping detailed records of the transaction.
There are two different kinds of telephone credit card payments. The first is making a credit card payment by phone to the cardholder’s credit company, and the second is making a purchase by phone using the cardholder’s credit card. Each kind of payment puts the cardholder at some level of risk for credit card fraud and identity theft. This is because both transactions expose private financial and personally identifying information. Such information includes the cardholder’s name, address, telephone number, bank account information, and credit card number and security code.
Whether he wants to make a credit card payment by phone or use his credit card pay for a purchase by phone, the cardholder can begin safeguarding his personal information by initiating the telephone call himself. If the credit card company or a vendor calls with a proposal the cardholder is interested in, he should call back before moving forward with a payment. This applies regardless of who is calling, but it’s especially safer to place a call back to an organization, vendor, or charity the cardholder with which the cardholder is unfamiliar.
The cardholder should also avoid giving his credit card or bank account information to anyone who calls him back after the initial phone call. Even though it’s possible the true credit card company or vendor is calling back to confirm or obtain missing information, it’s safest for the cardholder to call back. He can explain to the caller why he wants to call back, and then ask for the caller’s telephone number and extension. Often, people trying to commit credit card fraud will call the cardholder following the initial call and request he repeat the financial and personal information. Even if it’s an honest situation, the cardholder can protect himself by calling back the original caller.
Even after initiating the phone call, there are additional steps the credit card holder can take to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft while making a credit card payment by phone. For example, the holder should record the date and time of the transaction. He should ask for the name and employee identification number of the person taking his information, as well as the employee’s extension number. He can also ask for the transaction number and for information about any credit card payment receipt he will receive. For additional assurance, the cardholder can even call the employee back using the extension number to make sure the number works and the person who answers is who is supposed to answer.
There are additional steps the cardholder can take if, after taking all possible precautionary steps, the cardholder finds or even suspects he’s been the victim of credit card fraud or identity theft. He can contact his credit card company and report the number stolen, as well as contact his bank or other financial institution and stop all payments, withdrawals, and other transactions. Also, the cardholder can contact the government agency in his area that can help with matters related to fraud and identity theft. These agencies vary by region. For example, in America, citizens can contact branches of the Federal Trade Commission or the United States Department of Justice.
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