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How to Protect Yourself From Credit Card Scammers

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Credit card fraud is growing over the Internet, email, traditional mail, and telephone. “Phishing” is when scammers send out fraudulent emails asking for your personal information, such as your credit card number or bank account number. Never respond to these—delete them immediately.

In a similar phishing scam, someone may phone you pretending to be your bank, the fraud department of your credit card company, or another organization, and may ask to “verify your information” or “verify you are in possession of your card.” They often ask for your 3-digit verification code on the back of the card or ask for the first 12 digits of your card (they may already have the last 4 digits from a discarded receipt). Reputable companies do not call and ask for this information. If you did not initiate the call, do not give them any information and hang up immediately.

Read more from Fortune: Why PIN-and-Chip Credit Cards Are So Frustrating

When you write down your credit card information, try to be sure no one can see the information or take a picture with a cell phone. If a store still uses carbon paper, ask for the carbons and shred them yourself. For further protection against scams, check out Scambusters.

A common credit card scam is to use a valid (but stolen) credit card number to generate sequential numbers matched with expiration dates of valid cards from unsuspecting cardholders. The scammer then places a large order with a merchant and pays with the fraudulent card. By the time the merchant receives a disputed charge on the bill from the real cardholder, the organization has already shipped the merchandise.

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If you own a business, watch for people presenting fraudulent or stolen credit card numbers. If someone gives you a card number over the phone or in an email, always ask for the verification code. In addition, verify that the name, address, and expiration date match. Never ship merchandise to an address different from the one on the card’s account.