How to take care of your credit

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 02, 2016

Bubba, who didn’t want us to use his last name, tracks each and every purchase made on his credit card. “I go through my phone and look at the mobile app and look at each individual transaction and think did I do this?” Otherwise, the 21 year old admits he isn't worried about someone stealing his financial information.

But according to the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, he should be. “It happens all the time. Unfortunately, I think as a society we're becoming immune to it but we have to be vigilant and protect ourselves,” said BBB Communications Coordinator, Melanie McGovern.

McGovern recommended checking to make sure the credit card reader you're using doesn't look suspicious. Scammers often skim your information by putting a device right on top. “We always tell people if it looks a little weird. If there's chipped paint or if it looks a little off don't swipe your card.”

Also, shred any credit card offers you get in the mail. “People still go through the trash looking for any identifiable information: a social security number, a Medicare number, a credit card number, all of that can be used to steal somebody's identity.” That includes an old credit card. McGovern said those should be cut into pieces, too. And, check your credit history once a year. “Everybody's entitles to one free credit report every year. You go online, you get it, and you’re done. You don't have to pay for it. But it's only once a year that it's free.”

Finally, there are precautions that you can take that begin right in your own wallet. McGovern said never carry your social security card. And consider a radio frequency protection sleeve. It's meant to help protect you from any would-be electronic pickpockets.