Protect Yourself From ATM Scams

Written by James Dimmitt

In this day and age, ATM’s have become a fast and efficient way of getting our hands on our money. But if you’re not cautious,repparttar automatic teller machine can also be a quick way for others to get their hands on it too.

Not long ago, ABC News ran a story showing how easy it was to collect account numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) from unsuspecting consumers. In their experiment, they set up a sign next to a banking ATM that offered to “clean”repparttar 138488 magnetic strip on people’s cards as a courtesy to their customers. The sign had a magnetic card reader attached to it so that people could swipe their cards to have them “magically” cleaned.

And how many people fell for it? You’d be surprised. In their experiment, more than half ofrepparttar 138489 people usedrepparttar 138490 special card cleaner before using it inrepparttar 138491 ATM. Fortunately, this was only an experiment and no account information was actually transferred fromrepparttar 138492 “fake” cleaning machine.

But imagine what could have happened if this had not been an experiment but a scam by real thieves attempting to capture your personal information? I’m sure those unsuspecting customers inrepparttar 138493 experiment would have been in for quite a shockrepparttar 138494 next time they accessed their account balances!

Avoiding Credit Card Traps

Written by James Dimmitt

The next time you open your credit card statement, take a closer look atrepparttar small insert titled “changes to your credit card agreement”. You knowrepparttar 138487 one I’m speaking about. It’s that small, folded paper written in legalese that you promise to read some other time (but of course that time never comes) or you just discard it withrepparttar 138488 other “junk” inserts.

First and foremost you must understand that using your credit card after you’ve received this notification results in your automatic “agreement” torepparttar 138489 new terms inrepparttar 138490 notice. To prevent these new terms from affecting your account you must stop using that credit card immediately or byrepparttar 138491 date given inrepparttar 138492 notification statement.

The most common modifications to credit card agreements include new APR’s (annual percentage rates), new fees and/or changes to existing fees, or a change torepparttar 138493 grace period on your account. The grace period isrepparttar 138494 number of days during which any credit used for purchases may be repaid in full without incurring a finance charge.

Not knowing or not keeping track ofrepparttar 138495 dollar amount limit on your card is another trap you should avoid. Credit card issuers will allow you to charge a small amount overrepparttar 138496 limit set on your account. However, don’t be surprised when you get hit with an “over limit fee”, usually around $35.00 or higher, on your next statement. Also, be prepared for your APR to be increased if you go over your credit limit.

You’ll also trigger an increase to your interest rate if you miss your payment due date. Some companies consider your payment late if not received by noon or 1 p.m. onrepparttar 138497 date due. Along withrepparttar 138498 higher rate, you’ll also pay a “late fee” of $29 on up. Be sure to userepparttar 138499 company’s preprinted envelope when sending your payment. These envelopes allowrepparttar 138500 pre-printed bar code to be scanned byrepparttar 138501 post office so that it can be delivered more efficiently.

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