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We all know that criminals are out there, waiting to steal our credit card information.  These very criminals want credit card information so they can run up the charges then leave you holding the bags - with nothing to show for it.  Even though some are local, most credit card criminals are in far away lands.  Worse than that, they like to hide or go by other names so it’s virtually impossible to track them down.

The most common way for criminals to get credit card information is through phishing, which involves a fake email that appears to be sent from your credit card company.  Normally, this fake email states that there was an error with your account, or that it was accessed by unauthorized personnel and needs your attention.  

Spotting fake emails isn’t hard to do - as long as you know what to look for.  The most obvious hint for most, is the fact that they don’t even have a credit card from the company that has sent the email.  For others, the link is what gives the fake email away.  Anytime you get an email from a credit card that you believe to be fake, you should always hover your mouse over the link, then “right click” the link with the mouse and select “view source”.  If the link is indeed fake, the website address that comes up will be something other than that of a credit card company.

The criminals don’t want you to look at the source for their website, as they simply want you to click on the link before you look at anything else.  Once you have clicked on the link, you’ll arrive at a website that is usually an exact copy of a credit card website.  Fake sites normally include everything that the actual site does, including the logos and banners.  Even for the most amateur of credit card criminals, web pages like this are very easy to create.

Those of you who have fell victim to this scam, probably realized what you have done little too late.  Once you have entered in your credit card information, you have done exactly what the criminals wanted and put yourself in violation of credit card fraud and identity theft.  Once the criminal has your social security number and credit card information, he is more than likely to use that information to go on a shopping spree - stealing your money and running up your account.

If you receive an email such as this, you should always delete it.  Even if you just click on the fake website to investigate, you may do more harm than good.  Even though you may not enter any information at all, your computer may get infected with viruses or spyware simply because you clicked on the link.  To avoid this altogether, you should never click on a link that you believe to be a fake credit card company website.

If you do your part and protect your credit card information, you won’t have anything at all to worry about.  Your personal information is very important, as you never want it to fall in the wrong hands.  As long as you protect it, you won’t have anything to worry about.  There are always criminals out there, which is why you should always be on guard.  Criminals want your personal information and your credit card numbers - it’s up to you to ensure that they don’t get it.  A criminal will do anything to get what they want, which is why protecting yourself is so very important these days.

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