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How to Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Skimming

Jan 26, 2019 by

If you’re not entirely sure as to what credit card skimming is, it can sound like something mischievous. Someone “skimming” your credit card? That sounds dicey. And it is. It’s also illegal. In fact, it can lead to your personal information being stolen and used by thieves to buy things fraudulently.

Credit card skimming usually happens when an illegal device is fitted on top of a real credit card reader at self-service sale terminals. This can be done at a store, ATM or the gas pump when you slide your credit card to pay. The card skimmer reads the magnetic strip on the card and stores the card number. Your PIN can also be captured if a fake keypad was placed over the real one.

Along with gas pumps, ticket kiosks and other places where you pay for things with a credit card—but without a salesperson present—credit card skimming can be done at restaurants or department stores where an employee can copy your credit card number.

How to avoid credit card skimming. The easiest way to avoid skimming is to avoid paying for items at machines that aren’t set up next to a clerk.

Instead of paying outside at the gas pump, go inside the station and use the point-of-sale terminal that’s either right next to a clerk or requires a clerk to swipe your card at the cash register. Criminals are more likely to attach skimming machines to outside pumps than they are at the register inside a store.

If you can’t go inside, check the terminal for tampering and something extra put on it, and don’t use it if it looks funny. You may not be able to tell if a skimmer is attached. Look around for hidden cameras that could record you typing your PIN. Cover your hand while typing.

Pick the machine that’s closest to the front door, where clerks are more likely to see people trying to attach a skimmer—and are thus avoided.

Use a credit card with a chip. Use a credit card and not a debit card when paying at a card reader. If your debit card information is stolen, the thief can drain your bank account within minutes. If you report it missing within two business days, you’re only liable for up to $ 50 in debit charges. But if you don’t report the theft of a debit card after 60 days, you may not be reimbursed at all. Between two business days and 60 calendar days of a loss or theft, your maximum loss is $ 500.

A credit card with a chip is your best defense. It can make it harder to skim data, and the most you can be liable for is $ 50. If you report the loss before your credit card is used, then you aren’t responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize.

The post How to Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Skimming appeared first on RISMedia.

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5 Surprising Things That Don’t Affect Your Credit Score

Dec 14, 2018 by

There are some obvious things that can hurt a credit score: paying your bills late, using too much available credit in proportion to your income and defaulting on a loan. Some other financial transactions, however, don’t affect a credit score. You may even be surprised by them.

Here are five things that don’t affect a credit score, which is something you want to continue improving so you’ll have access to the best mortgage rates and terms:

Income

Creditors and lenders obviously want you to have an income, and information about your employer may be listed on your credit report, but your actual income isn’t reported as part of a credit score.

Your income will be used to decide how much you can afford to borrow, but a high salary won’t boost your credit score and a low salary won’t hurt it.

Overdrafts

Overdrawing your bank accounts can be costly, but they won’t hurt your credit score as long as you clear them before they go to collections.

If your account remains overdrawn for weeks and the bank sends it to a collections agency, then expect your credit score to be dinged. It’s not the overdraft account that’s causing the credit score to drop, but the fact that it went to a debt collection agency.

Missed Insurance Payments

A credit score can be used by an insurance company to calculate your insurance premium. But your insurer won’t report your insurance premium payments—whether on time or late—to credit bureaus.

If you miss just one insurance payment, your insurance company could cancel the policy entirely or until payment is made. But it’s unlikely they’ll send it to a collections agency.

Checking Your Own Credit

You can check your credit report or score as much as you want without being penalized for it. Start at AnnualCreditReport.com for a free report each year from three of the major credit reporting agencies.

If a lender checks your credit score, such as when applying for new credit, that will likely hurt a credit score, though only a little and not for long. Too many queries in a short time could drop it a little more.

Credit Counseling

If you’ve sought help from a credit counselor to help manage your credit card payments, it may show up on your credit report. It won’t, however, hurt your credit score.

As long as your creditor is getting your payments on time—either through you or the credit counselor—then the fact that you’re getting credit counseling won’t hurt your score. But if the payments arrive late, then expect to see your credit score drop.

The post 5 Surprising Things That Don’t Affect Your Credit Score appeared first on RISMedia.

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Do You Have a Business Credit Card?

Oct 17, 2018 by

If you maintain a balance on your business credit card, the interest rate is deductible as a business expense.

The post Do You Have a Business Credit Card? appeared first on RISMedia.

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Reissue: Credit Repair Deemed as Fraud?

Oct 8, 2018 by

Reissue:  Credit Repair Deemed as Fraud? Due to an issue with this show on Friday we’ve decided to reissue it today.  We’ll be back with a new show tomorrow. Thanks!

The post Reissue: Credit Repair Deemed as Fraud? appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

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