Discover Card Fraud Prevention
All credit cards are vulnerable to fraud, including Discover cards. Discover has many ways of protecting your account. Javelin Strategy & Research ranked it as the best credit card company for fraud protection in 2009. You still need to do your part for fraud prevention by taking some important precautions with your card and personal information.
Credit card fraud affects all branded cards, including Discover accounts. Fraudsters gather account numbers or steal cards for their own use or to sell to others. They do this by observing you when you buy something in a store, calling you and tricking you into revealing your account number, using a skimming device that pulls information from your Discover card’s magnetic strip, stealing your statement from the garbage or compromising your computer with malicious programs.
The best fraud prevention method is to closely guard your Discover card and all related paperwork and information. The Scambusters website advises only carrying your card when you plan to use it and guarding your purse or wallet carefully. Don’t tell anyone your Discover account number or enter it on unfamiliar websites. Destroy receipts and statements by ripping them into small pieces and disposing of them in separate trash bags.
Discover provides its card holders with fraud prevention assistance. The company will call you if your account has a suspicious activity pattern such as several large purchases in a short time period or charges in a foreign country. It will send you a paperless online statement so you don’t have to worry about shredding paper bills before trashing them each month. Discover will also give you a one-time-use account number for online purchases. Your real number will be safe if you accidentally use a fraudulent website.
A federal law called the Fair Credit Billing Act lets banks hold you liable for up to $50 in fraudulent credit card charges, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Discover waives this amount, so you will not pay anything for online or in-person charges made by a thief.
Many thieves are sophisticated and will use social engineering to try to steal your Discover account number. For example, a discover card telemarketer will pretend to already have your number and claim to simply want to verify it. She will say, “It’s your Discover account beginning with a 6.” This is a trick because all Discover cards start with that digit. Criminals also impersonate Discover’s fraud prevention department. They make calls or send texts claiming your account has been suspended for suspicious activity and asking for your number to reinstate it. They may even spoof the Caller ID data. Refuse to give any information or call any phone numbers they provide for verification. Hang up and call the Discover customer service number on your card.