In the nearest time Colorado lawmakers are planning to introduce a new measure to prevent credit card frauds and reduce the number of identity thefts. All credit card transactions will require crossing off all but the final four numbers of a credit card.
Current law already demands to do that when cards are being run electronically. So, what is the innovation?
Lawmakers say that many businesses still use manual transfers and don't black out information that might be stolen by identity thieves.
If a thief has a credit card statement with an intact account number, it's not difficult to commit an identity theft. The law breaker can go online and buy practically anything that he or she wants.
It is also quite easy to order goods by telephone because the person doesn't have to provide any proof of identity or a signature. When identity theft of personal and banking information happens, the person committing the crime can exploit the whole limit of a credit card.
The above problem is serious not for Colorado citizens only, but for all U.S. citizens. The Federal Trade Commission estimates as many as 9 million Americans fall victim to identity theft each year. In Colorado alone there have been 2,660 reported victims of identity theft, with credit card fraud on the top of the list as the most frequent type of identity theft.
A new law will be an important step to prevent the credit card frauds. Senator Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, says that these days there are still a lot of manual transfers in gas stations or smaller businesses. It takes only a second to black out all credit card numbers but the last four. Identity thieves looking for credit card statements that reveal another's personal information will not see anything. Dan Gibbs hopes that the new law will lead to fewer identity thefts.
Relying on the new rule, don't forget about personal measures to keep from an identity theft. The most important way is not to open your personal information to anyone. That includes your credit card numbers, PINs, your social security number, bank account numbers and other identifying information.
Then, do not forget to tear up or shred credit card receipts, bills and any other items with personal information before throwing them into garbage. Thieves often search in the trash. Applying online for a new credit card is safer than sending your application by e-mail.
Protect all credit card accounts that you can with a password. Do not use such commonly chosen words as birth dates or a child's or spouse's name for passwords.
Check your billing statements each month for fraudulent accounts and other information. If you stop receiving your mail on time, someone may be using a fraudulent change of your address. Call the creditors first and then the post office to see if your address has been changed.
These simple measures together with the administrative support will help to protect oneself from identity theft.