Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

However; it’s one thing that credit card.com brought to my attention that I didn’t think of and that’s BTS Scams and frauds. Sadly, people; individuals as well as companies take advantage of times such as these to scam parents and/or lure them into “too good to be true” deals. And with parents scrambling to find the best deals (cheaper ones, I should say) to maximize their shopping experience; most of us don’t pay attention to the deceit that linger below these advertisements.

Fraud Torn Paper Concept

According to creditcards.com/Daniel Smith, head of security at Radware, this is a global cyber security company. Parents, teachers, and students are all potential targets for back-to-school scams and all three can be targeted in different ways. Knowing how to recognize scams is the first line of defense – Using a credit card is the second one.

Related Post: Whose the SCAM NOW!!

With millions of people using credit cards every day to do most of their shopping and who could blame them – with the convenience of not ever having to leave your house; it’s no wonder the credit card business is booming and consumers are enjoying every minute of it. Of course, paying for items with cash is also a great protection as well but with many “online” deals saying this and saying that – it’s easier to pull out the credit card and punch or swipe.

online purchases
photo source: bing/creditcardfraud

While you may feel hesitant about using your credit card a lot of times; I know I do…It’s actually not a bad thing and if you have the right “protection” features on your card. It actually can serve as a safety net for your life as well as your money. Listed below are a couple of things (if you don’t already) that you should have on your credit card in which serves as an added BONUS for being safe online as well as in store.

Basic Protection:

The basic protection plan is a basic feature given to all credit card holders. The plan protects the cardholder involving any dispute in regards to goods and services that were purchased using your credit card. For more info on this, please view the Fair Trade Credit Billing Act.

The FTC can also offer up some good advice when it comes to those ever so alluring “paid commercial ads” that promise you a 30-day free trial and the guarantee to not touch your card until 30days are up (all you have to do is call and cancel before that time) in which we all know is NOT that easy and next thing you know; you’re paying for a product that might don’t even work.  According to the FTC “free trials” aren’t always free and might come with hidden fees and other strings attached.

Purchase Protection:

Helps prevent against loss or theft, however – not all purchases qualify. It’s best practice to reach out to your credit card company to see what’s covered and not in case of a theft or loss. Items that may be covered include clothing, electronics, home and garden products and personal care items, but again – every credit card company is different and the items mentioned may not be one of the items a credit card company acknowledges. Do you have purchase protection? If so, do you know what it covers?

Return Protection:

Extends the life or adds life to an item purchased. Most stores have return policies on some items or offer very limited ones to others. Having a return protection on your card; gives you a little more extended time on a purchase, should the one at the store doesn’t. Most credit card companies do not offer this feature but for the ones that do such as (MasterCard & AMEX) they may or may not tack on shipping charges for your return. Check with your card company and see…

Zero Liability Guarantee:

Visa has this feature and gives the consumer its word that you won’t be charged or made responsible for unauthorized charges made with your credit card. You’re protected should your card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used (whether online or off). So, to sum it all up:

 PROTECT YOURSELF!

This time of year is most critical with parents trying to maximize the best deals and save loads of money in the process as we all Back to School shop. While getting the best deal is “keen” it’s also very important that you read and check out a company before you pull up, out or swipe your credit card – especially if you don’t have added protections in place. Knowledge is definitely POWER!

Speaking of knowledge – Please head over to credit cards.com and check out their blog post entitled “How cards can protect you against back-to-school scams” it’s filled with a plethora of other helpful financial safety tips and information for parents regarding fraud surrounding the back to school season.

I want to give a special thank you to Blake H. for reaching out to me in regards to this helpful info; in which help me to spread the word to you…

Safe Shopping

 

ROSHONDA N. BLACKMON

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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