Identity theft is on the rise. As thieves make more sophisticated efforts to steal our personal information, credit cards are becoming smarter, too, taking an offensive approach to safeguard our money. While we are distracted with celebrating and shopping more than usual, the busy holiday season is prime time for criminals to take action. Follow these four guidelines to take control of your credit accounts and stay SAFE.
S – Stay alert
Set real-time alerts that will keep you informed about activity in your account. First Financial Bank’s app for card management, MyCard Caddy, allows for the setup of alert messages to be sent every time a card is used to make a purchase over a specified dollar amount, or from a specific spending category. Set alerts for categories most common to cons, like fuel, electronics, online gaming, or luxury items. Take the time to read the notifications when they come in and mentally check them against your banking activities. These notifications are especially helpful for those who share an account, keeping communication open to avoid overspending.
A – Access your account regularly
For effective credit card management, you must be vigilant about checking your account for unusual activity. It is worth the time to set up this access early on and then make sure you use it. Even a minimal charge that pops up that doesn’t look familiar could be a sign of criminal activity. Thieves may attempt a small purchase as a trial run before they make larger, more damaging purchases. If any transaction raises a warning flag, immediately go into action.
F – Fight back
If you notice any questionable activity in your account, warning alerts come in reflecting changes to your account that you did not make, or your card is missing, you should take action. Now is the time to switch to defensive mode.
You can suspend your card’s services, putting on hold any transactions until you figure out what is happening. To suspend your card on First Financial Bank’s MyCard Caddy, it’s as simple as sliding a toggle on your smartphone’s touch screen, with immediate results. You can also reactivate the card with another simple slide of the toggle, should you discover your lost card in a coat pocket or learn your spouse bought you that suspect electronic item as a gift (oops!). Suspension and reactivation occur in real-time, an immediate action that can make the difference between one small purchase and thousands of dollars in stolen credit.
E – Enjoy the season with peace and confidence
With high-tech management features like these working 24-7 to protect your account, you can enjoy the holiday season with peace and confidence. Manage your credit card from wherever your holiday travels take you, directly from a smartphone.
First Financial Bank takes your safety and protection seriously. The MyCard Caddy app is just one of many features developed for our clients to help put them in control and manage their card accounts. Download the app today and shop safely this holiday season.