It pays to look closely at your credit card statement. You may see a "test charge," - a small charge, like $1. It may seem insignificant but it could be a sign tat a scammer has stolen your credit card and is testing it with a small amount to see if it works. Some merchants legitimately place a test charge on your account appearing to come from gas stations or hotel; these charges eventually drop off. But if you see a small charge and can't identify the merchant, contact your credit card company immediately.
Even though many of us have the new chip-embedded credit cards in our wallets, don’t let your guard down over credit card fraud. Instead of duplicating a credit card, scammers use stolen Social Security numbers and other sensitive data to open a fraudulent credit card account in your name.
Tis the season for holiday shopping! How should you pay for it? If you're using cash or a debit card this holiday season, you won't incur the interest charges that accumulate if you can't pay off your credit cards on time, but credit cards have the advantage when it comes to legal protection. And that can make a big difference if your card is lost or stolen. Here are some ways credit is the smart choice, from Kristin Keckeisen of the AARP Fraud Watch Network:
Every day hardworking people struggle to make ends meet. In fact, almost 20 million people 50 and older are feeling overwhelmed by mounting debt, poor credit or lack of savings. It doesn’t have to be that way.
With the holiday season approaching, it’s as important as ever to make sure your credit is in good order. AARP has information and resources about managing debt, saving money and budgeting available on our website.
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