Credit Card Protection - it's up to you

The many facets of credit card protection include refusing to give out your credit card number (or any other credit card information) unless you're ready to make a purchase. I know it sounds obvious, but there are techniques that people use to get credit card information, little by little, until they have it all.

Once you give even the slightest information about your card, that opens the door (in your mind) that other inquiries about your card are legitimate built on your willingness to answer the first question.

That's why it's a good idea to never give out information about your credit card until you're ready to make a transaction.

Frugal living isn't just about spending less. Sometimes it's about being on guard against those who would like to "help you" part with your hard-earned money.

Let's look at a technique used by some sales people to defeat your efforts at credit card protection. Whether it's on the phone or in person, here is a technique that an aggressive salesman might employ to get your credit card information...

Salesman: Were you thinking of writing a check or using a card today?

You: I have a card.

Salesman: What type of card will you be using? Is it credit or debit?

You: It's a credit card.

Salesman: I hope it's a Mastercard or Visa because we don't accept American Express.

You: It's a Mastercard.

Salesman: What is the expiration on the card. We've had a lot of people for some reason trying to use expired cards in the last week, so we need to check that it's still current.

You: (After finding the card in your wallet, you verify the expiration date.) It's says it expires 4/13, so it's still good.

Salesman: Oh good. And, what is the number on the card?

Now, you've told him 4 things about your card. He has led you down the path of giving information about your card. All along you've given him information, and now he's counting on you feeling a bit odd about not telling him the final piece of information that he needs - your number.

If you balk, he might explain that it's the last item he needs - everything else is ready to go. For many people, this is a bit too late to implement credit card protection, so be on your toes right from the start.

You see how he can play someone into a position of being on the spot? The weaker willed among us won't want to offend someone, so we'll comply with this one last request for information.

If we have a mind to exercise good credit card protection, and be equally aggressive, the exchange might go as follows:

Salesman: Were you thinking of writing a check or using a card today?

You: I'm still undecided about your product. After I make a decision to buy, we'll talk about how to pay for it.

Salesman: I understand, but we just need to check to see if it's a valid card for the purchase. I assume you were going to use a credit card today. What type of card were you going to use today, credit or debit?

You: Like I said, I'm going to make a purchase decision before I decide on a method of payment.

Salesman: I'm sorry, I thought we were there already, and I was just trying to keep things moving along.

You: You might be there, but I'm not. I haven't decided to make a purchase yet, and I'll let you know when I do. Only then will we discuss terms of payment. Until then, you'll not be checking on anything that has to do with me or my form of payment.

Now if your salesman doesn't have the message loud and clear at that point, then it's time to excuse yourself and leave, hang up or otherwise hop in the Batmobile and vamoose.

My examples here are a bit harsh, but they are purposely that way to illustrate a point. You have to be assertive in order to afford yourself adequate credit card protection. After all, there are individuals out there that are equally assertive when it comes to closing a sale or otherwise getting your credit card number for their use.

The smart among us will always have credit card protection on our mind when dealing with those who would like to make use of that form of payment. Being on guard is a valid part of your plan for frugal living. My approach to frugal living calls for being a smart shopper as well as a cautious one.

Done with Credit Card Protection, take me back to Money Making Scams

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.