This post will probably add fuel to the fire for people already do not want to collect points to begin with.
A man and woman from Surrey, British Columbia are accused of identity theft, impersonation, possession of stolen mail and forgery. The Vancouver police uncovered a credit card scam that goes after customers of Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) reward points. The police uncovered a method of stealing identities and property by using information from a victims’ RBC credit card statements (sometimes obtained by mail theft) to redeem points and purchase gift cards.
Here are a few suggestions to protect against credit card fraud:
1) Always check your points balances to ensure that you still have the points that you earned. I like using programs like Award Wallet to help me keep track of all my balances in one place. If you see a discrepancy, you can check it right away so that an investigation can be launched right away.
Here’s how I see it, I also wonder if all my money is in my bank account, so I will check my balances periodically. The same goes for my points, I feel that my points are equivalent to money, so I check my balances daily. After all, I am Pointshogger.
2) Go with e-statements. Why risk having your statements sent to you by mail? With so much identify theft going on, that is just asking for trouble by being exposed to the risk. Furthermore, some credit card companies actually charge you for the printed statements, somewhere in the range of $2 per month. I rather save my $2, get e-statements instead and have less fraudulent activity headaches to worry about. We already have enough stress on a daily basis anyway.
3) Monitor your purchases and transactions on your credit card routinely. Credit card companies will reimburse you on fraudulent purchases made up to 30 days, so check your account at least once every 30 days to ensure that you are protected against fraudulent charges.
4) When making a purchase online, try to make purchases on sites that start with “https://”. The extra “s” is not a guaranteed protections, but it does give you an added layer of protection.
Basically, the more personal information we put out there, the more risk we are exposed to. However, credit card companies will reimburse you for fraudulent activity made on your credit cards if you catch the issue early enough. So if you are on top of your purchases, then you should be fine.
I will say this, it is too bad that there is so much criminal activity in the world. It causes so much distrust that it even affects something as simple as collecting points.