Protect Yourself From Credit Card Scams

by : Joseph Kenny

With so many credit card offers coming to your door every week, it can be difficult to make a decision. Yet, there are important reasons to take your time to review each offer carefully. Each credit card has its own rates, terms, and rewards packages. If you want to find the right card, meaning one that fit your needs, you must do proper research. Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to credit card scams.

Unfortunately, there are credit card companies that take advantage of people who do not know much about their cards or how they are properly used. Credit cards can be a recipe for financial disaster, especially when they are misused and the policies adopted by these companies favor their own interests over those of their customers. Understanding how to protect yourself from these credit card scams should be a priority.

Here are some offers that you need to watch out whether you get them in the mail or off the web:

Advance fees on credit cards
Debt suspension
Credit protection

It seems reasonable at first. All you have to do is pay a small advance fee to receive your credit card, regardless of your credit rating. If this wasn't enough, these same companies make such offers more attractive by saying that you will receive low interest rates and large credit lines. For those slightly more suspicious, the fee is explained as a necessary part of the card application process or in order to move you to pre-approval status. The likely result is that if you pay an advance fee you will not see your credit card and you will loose you money as well.

Another credit card scam that plays off of the misfortune cardholders involves debt suspension. There are circumstances that befall customers like unforeseen medical problems or loss of work that keep them from paying off their balances. Nearly all of the major credit card companies offer debt suspension services to provide relief through temporary suspension of debts until you can resume payment. The scam centers on the fact that many are ignorant about these services. Certain companies prey upon this lack of knowledge and offer this same protection at a cost even though they are given free of charge.

Similarly, credit protection programs are offered by independent agencies despite the fact that there are federal protections already in place for credit cardholders whose cards are lost, stolen, or used without permission. It is simply a waste of your money to seek out and pay for this unnecessary protection. The likelihood of getting compensated for claims is very small in these situations.

The object is to keep you from making these costly mistakes - and hopefully keeping more money in your pockets. Keep an eye out for these credit card scams and others that may use ignorance of credit card protections and policies against cardholders.