As a measure of how commonplace credit-card fraud is becoming, consider that Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer-information and advocacy group, has been notified three times within the last year that her credit-card information was stolen and used for fraudulent transactions. "I'm obviously careful about card security, but this clearly can happen to anyone even if your card never leaves your wallet," Givens said.
Givens says it's impossible to trace how her account information was compromised, but it appears to have been sold on the black market and then used by thieves who cloned her card to make charges at various locations in the U.S. and abroad. Givens was notified that thieves used her card to charge $500 in auto parts in Thailand, $300 in groceries in Montreal, and $100 in groceries in Houston. "Since this does seem to be happening more often," she said, "it underscores how important it is to monitor your card accounts frequently online rather than waiting for monthly statements."
Remember, acting promptly and following the right strategy are essential if you are hit by card fraud. The Federal Trade Commission, Identity Theft Resource Center, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse can guide you through the steps to take to resolve the problem quickly.
And if you're a bit of a tech geek, here are two sites worth checking out.