NEW YORK (TheStreet) — You may not know it, but you stand a much greater chance of falling victim to identity theft today than you did a few years ago.
According to the National Consumers League and Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2010 consumers had a one-in-nine chance of experiencing identity theft. But these days, the odds have changed, and not in your favor - now it's a one-in-three chance your personal financial data will be compromised via I.D. theft http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/07/23/study-data-breaches-pose-greater-risk/.
Using your credit card without due diligence is a common path to identity theft, says Creditnet, a Seattle credit card comparison site. Hackers and I.D. thieves regularly dig through trash or copy your card number if they work for a product or services provider where you use your plastic to do business.
Avoiding credit card fraud is much easier, however, if you apply some Creditnet-suggested common sense to the issue:
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Look before you pay. Credit card thieves love to lurk about and grab as much data they can from your credit card while you're using it for a purchase. So when you're about to use your plastic to pay in public, look around first to ensure nobody can see you enter your PIN on a bankcard or see your credit card number.
Shred your paperwork. Copies of receipts and statements that wind up in the trash are a gift to data thieves. Invest in a shredder and destroy all card payment records you don't save. Keep I.D. thieves out of your trash and out of your life.