Imagine that someone steals your credit card and charges hundreds (or, gasp!, thousands) of dollars on it. Are you sunk? Nope, you're only responsible for $50.
By law, consumers can't be held responsible for more than $50 if they are the victims of credit card fraud and report the theft promptly. To avoid paying more, contact the card company as soon as you notice that a card has been lost or stolen.
In addition, be careful with "pre-approved" offers you receive in the mail. If you toss them out and a dastardly sort picks one up, he can change the address on it to his own and get a card in your name -- yet another way identities get stolen. It's not a bad idea to buy a paper shredder to destroy credit card offers and documents with confidential information. At office supply stores, you should be able to pick up a modest shredder for around $20 or $30. It's a simple way to help avoid the massive headache of identity theft.
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