Experts Offer Tips on Protecting Your Credit - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Experts Offer Tips on Protecting Your Credit

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Fraud experts says the reason we're hearing about more and more data breaches is because credit card security in the United States is incredibly weak right now.

"It's difficult to stay ahead of the people who are hacking or breaching sites."

Tony Rucci runs Root Technology, an IT security company. He says once accounts are breached, within just a couple of days, your valuable credit card information is up for sale on the black market. "They're selling credit card accounts with the PIN numbers on order of about $5-$10 a piece, in most cases."

It used to be protecting your credit was as simple as shredding your documents. Not any more...criminals, like everyone else, have gone high-tech.

"Fraudsters have actually gained the ability to encode fake credit cards with actual credit cards numbers. They've figured out how the coding system works."

Sergeant Dennis Carry heads up the Cyber Crimes Division for the sheriff's office in Washoe County. He says the criminals use stolen account information to buy things online, but sometimes it's even easier to just walk into a store. "Most of the time the tellers that are taking the information or using the automated system, there's no verification system." 

So unless you're ready to get rid of all your plastic - experts say you have to keep on top of your accounts, checking on your activity often - daily if possible and don't forget about keeping online accounts safe, too.

"Make sure you're changing your PINS and passwords. Every single time you hear about a breach or anything like that and look at your card and account to see if you may have been involved," says Rucci.

Another tip - reducing the amount of credit cards you have will make keeping track of purchases easier.

Experts also told us with the high volume of breaches that are happening right now, it's not a matter of "if" your credit will be stolen, it's a matter of "when." So catching it as soon as possible is the best way to avoid bigger problems in the long run.

Written by Andi Guevara

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