Sign Your Credit Card Now: Know Why
These days, stealing comes in many forms and means. Because of the advancements in technology and communication, criminals no longer need to break into your home or seize you in the dark side of the neighborhood. For some criminals, all it takes is for them to steal data from a small piece of plastic.
In 2008, around 11.7 million people in the United States became victims of identity theft which was a result of stealing credit card as well as personal information. This resulted to a financial loss totaling to around $17.3 billion in just over two years.
A significant way of preventing theft using credit cards is by signing on the back of the card. Many cardholders are actually not thinking of this as a serious matter. However, you will soon find out that having your card unsigned can lead to a lot of trouble. Here are some points to consider why it is important to sign at the back of your credit card.
Unsigned Credit Cards Can be signed by Criminals
Credit cards: They can be very useful but when stolen can result to credit card fraud which could end up costing you time and money. Credit card fraud involves an unauthorized use of another person’s credit card information in order to make transactions or removing cash for themselves. This is also referred to as an account take over as criminals can make transactions in their victims’ names.
Having your personal information stolen along with your credit card can be very alarming. However, there are some measures you can take to avoid having your credit card used fraudulently such as requesting ID verification for your transitions. Of course, you can also avoid further financial damage by simply signing on the back of your credit card.
If your credit card is unsigned, credit card thieves can easily sign your name in their own handwriting. They certainly won’t be having any problems proving themselves as the cardholders when they are asked to verify the signature. People then will merely refer to the names of the criminals as aliases.
Signed Cards Ratify Banks’ Credit Protection
Here is another scenario as consumers usually don’t worry much about credit card theft because most credit cards offer limited or no liability in case of any fraudulent purchases, which is a common protection feature. However, did you know that leaving your card unsigned would invalidate such a protection? This is because signing the back of your credit card indicates that the agreement between you and the bank has been ratified, including fraud protection.
For example, if your unsigned card gets stolen and the criminal made bundles of charges, the merchant with whom the purchase was made can state that the card was unsigned. As simple as that, the bank could say that zero liability cannot be imposed because the cardholder did not ratify the conditions embedded on the account by signing the back of the card.
Prevent Data Breaches
Signing your card to acquire fraud protection as well as zero liability in cases of fraudulent transactions can also be very useful in cases of data breaches. Just by January of 2013, there have been numerous incidents of hacking and data breaches in many parts of the United States. Hackers aim to get into the system of stores and financial instructions to acquire credit and other sensitive information to make fraudulent transactions and sometimes, to make a copy of the credit card. If you become affected by these breaches without knowing it, your unsigned card will definitely not save you from being liable.
Protecting Against Credit Card Scams
Signing your card can also prevent credit scams. A credit card scam is similar to breaches, only that scammers have a different way of obtaining credit card data.
Scammers sometimes pretend to be people from credit card companies and ask their victims about their credit card information. Once they have this information, they can make copies of their victims’ credit cards to use for their own benefit. Some scams also involve the internet wherein they create websites and disguise them as the websites consumers usually use to make transactions online.
Having your credit card signed before any of these things happen to you can save you a lot of time, especially when credit companies begin with their investigation. Once they compare the signature on the fake and the signature on your card, it would be pretty easy to tell which one is fake. In the process, you will not be held liable for any purchases made using the fake credit card.
In Case of Loss
On a side note, in case you lose your credit card, it does not automatically mean that it is stolen. Things to do when you lost your credit card include immediately contacting your credit card company to report a lost card. Afterwards, you can call your credit agency, alerting them of your card being lost. This will inform all merchants that the card has been lost thus preventing other persons from using it.
While many merchants no longer check the signature on the back of the card, it does not mean that signing it won’t do anything. Before any of your credit information gets stolen, consider picking up that pen.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any experiences you want to share regarding the importance of signing your credit card? Place your comment below and please share with friends.