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TheStreet Open House

5 Ways To Avoid Credit Card Fraud This Shopping Season

Also, while most clerks are honest, keep an eye on your card as it is swiped. There have been reports of some instances in which a clerk will swipe a card twice - once on the store register and once on a separate skimmer they use to collect numbers for their own devious purposes.

4. Put a password on your mobile phone

Smart phones can almost do it all - play music, browse the web and (gasp!) even make phone calls. One of the latest innovations is that of the mobile wallet which lets you set up your credit card information in an app and then use your phone to make payments rather than pull out the physical card.

All this technology can be great, but you need to think about how much sensitive material is stored on your phone. What happens when it is lost or stolen? Take a preventive measure by password protecting your phone.

5. Use a prepaid card

Finally, you can largely avoid the risk of ongoing credit card fraud by using a prepaid credit card. Although traditional credit cards limit your liability to $50 in the event of fraud, a thief can wreck havoc in a short period of time and sorting out the mess can be quite a headache. Prepaid cards prevent criminals from maxing out your credit in a day and potentially impacting your credit score. In particular, they can be a good alternative if you are feeling unsure about a website's security.

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