How to protect yourself
Credit card fraud is a constant threat. Fortunately, you can take steps to help keep your account information safe.
- Tackle credit card fraud
- Recognize ID theft, and take action right away
- Spot suspicious emails
- Guard your information online
- Identify suspicious phone calls and text messages
- Rebound from ID theft
- Be confident in your security
- Take control of mobile payments
- Shop safely online
- Improving your online experience
Tackle credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is a constant threat. Fortunately, you can take steps to help keep your account information safe.
If your Barclays credit card has been used without your permission, call our customer security team immediately at 866-928-8598. We'll help you identify and remove fraudulent charges, and prevent further unauthorized use of your card.
You can also take these steps to stay secure:
- Check your credit report for any unauthorized activity. Credit reporting companies will give you a free copy of your report once a year. Request yours at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Check all your accounts for unusual activity, and contact your financial institutions if you spot fraud.
- Also report fraudulent activities to your local law enforcement office.
- Make sure to keep your card in a secure location to prevent further use.
- Follow these steps to address identity theft
- You can also enroll in account alerts which help you monitor your account. To enroll, just log in and visit the Account Settings page.
Barclays is committed to protecting your account information. If you believe your account has been compromised, or would like to learn more about how Barclays is fighting credit card fraud, contact us right away.
Recognize ID theft, and take action right away
Knowing how to spot identity theft - and how to react to it when you do - can help prevent financial damage.
ID theft, or identity theft, occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified the most common signs of identity theft:
- Unauthorized or unfamiliar withdrawals made from your bank account.
- Missing bills or other official mail.
- Phone calls about an unfamiliar debt.
- Unknown accounts or charges appearing on your credit report.
- Medical bills for services you did not receive.
- Rejected insurance claims, because your record shows you've reached your benefits limit.
- More than one tax return has been filed in your name, or you receive notices of income from employers you don't work for.
- A reported data breach at a company you do business with.
While there are steps you can take to prevent ID theft, everyone is at risk and can become a victim. If you suspect your identity has been stolen:
- Call the Barclays customer security team immediately at 866-928-8598.
- Contact your other financial institutions right away to make sure no other accounts have been compromised. You may need to close your account or increase security measures.
- Check other companies you have accounts with - including electric, cable, phone and other utilities. You may need to place temporary holds on your accounts.
- Notify the major credit bureaus to contact you before any new accounts are opened with your information. You may also want to look at one or more of your credit reports:
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285
- Experian 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
- File a police report with your local law enforcement office, and then obtain a copy of the report to submit to creditors as evidence.
- Register the incident with the FTC. They use this information to help law enforcement in their investigations.
- Make sure you record, document and copy every step you take during the recovery process - including tracking phone calls and letters you send and receive.
After reporting incidents of fraud, the next steps are to recover your identity and fix any damage that may have occurred. When you're ready, review our recommended identity theft recovery steps.
Spot suspicious emails
Email inboxes are popular targets for scammers, so it's important to know which emails are safe to open or reply to.
"Phishing" is a term used to describe fraudulent emails that attempt to steal your personal information. The scam may ask for your Social Security number, bank account information or credit card data. Barclays will never ask for that information through an email. In fact, all of our emails contain four pieces of consistent information to help you easily verify that our communication is authentic:
- Your first name and, occasionally, your last name.
- The last four digits of your credit card account number.
- Our mailing address and contact information.
- A unique tracking ID that we can use to verify the email. Email scammers may also pose as a trusted source, like a friend, family member or employer.
Here are two ways to make sure an email is legitimate:
- Misspelled and incorrect information are common in phishing emails. If it doesn't "feel right," it probably isn't. Phishing emails often change a letter or two in a familiar sender's email address, or contain errors throughout the text.
- Phishing emails often ask you to click on a link or open an attachment. Never click on a link in an email that you weren't expecting, or from a sender you don't recognize. One trick you can use is to hover your mouse over the link in the email. If the preview address looks different from the one typed out in the email, don’t click on it.
If you're ever in doubt about the validity of a phone call, email, or text you receive, DO NOT provide your personal information. Please contact us by calling the number on the back of your credit card, and forward any suspicious emails that reference Barclays to PhishingReport@BarclaycardUS.com.
Fake web sites are also commonly used by email scammers. When you visit sensitive sites on your computer from an email - sites like those for a bank or insurance company - be sure to type in the web address manually. You can also download browsers with anti-phishing capability. These warn you when you try to access a phony website.
As a general rule, never include sensitive information such as your full account number, Social Security number, username, password, Credit Card Validation (CCV) code, ATM/debit or credit card number or bank account number in any email you send.
For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Center online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft. The FTC updates their site regularly with scam alerts, email tips, and other information about avoiding fraud.
Guard your information online
Knowing who you're sharing your information with can go a long way toward keeping you safe online.
Safeguarding your personal information online is a challenge. How you store, share and dispose of your information can greatly affect your risk of fraud.
- Never disclose your password to anyone, even a customer service representative.
- Only give merchants the information they need to complete a transaction.
- Ensure that the site is encrypted before entering credit card or other personal information - look for a "key" or "padlock" symbol next to the website address.
- Use unique passwords - avoid dates of birth, Social Security numbers and simple words.
- Don't include any personal information in emails.
- Always keep a record of your online transactions.
- Use a secure browser.
- Don't post sensitive or identifying information on social media or other publically accessible websites.
- If you wish to use a third-party app or financial aggregator to consolidate and manage your financial data, we recommend you ensure those services have a strong data protection policy and that you understand any risk associated with sharing login information with a third party.
Scammers can even access your information from improperly discarded technology. Before you get rid of a mobile device or computer, make sure you've wiped all the data from its memory.
Identify suspicious phone calls and text messages
Stay safe from text and telephone scams by knowing what to look for.
The more we use our phones, the more scammers target them for theft. A scam call or text can be simple or highly sophisticated, so it's important to determine if the message is legitimate.
- Never give your personal information over the phone to callers you do not know.
- Don't respond to unsolicited promotional offers including free merchandise and travel.
- Register your home and mobile numbers in the National Do Not Call registry.
- Avoid "free" trials, where you could be unexpectedly billed after the trial expires.
- Never consider an investment offer over the phone from an unknown source.
- Look out for urgent requests including charitable donations that require your personal information.
- Don't "confirm" your account information if the caller already claims to have it.
Telephone scammers want you to act fast, so they'll say anything to get you to give them your information. Chances are, if the offer can't wait a few minutes for you to look into it, it's not legitimate. Report callers you suspect are attempting to steal from you. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit ftc.gov/complaint.
Rebound from ID theft
It may not be easy, but you can repair the damage done by identity theft and emerge stronger and safer than before.
Whenever you become a victim of ID theft, there are several steps you can take to repair your credit. Being proactive, keeping good records, and double-checking your accounts can minimize the lasting effects of fraud.
- Get copies of your credit reports and check them thoroughly for unauthorized charges, accounts and transactions.
- Report any errors in your credit history to the reporting agency. You may have to check with each major agency (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to ensure the error hasn't been repeated.
- Also, you may have to dispute fraudulent portions of your credit report. The FTC offers sample letters you can send to the agencies, as well as checklists for when you contact credit bureaus.
- For each business that reports an error, contact their fraud department to report your claim. Make sure they record your case and are able to respond if they are contacted by a credit bureau.
- Request copies of any fraudulent documents or transactions involved in the identity theft.
If you face identity theft, Barclays can give you the financial documentation you need, and advice on the steps you can take to clear your credit record. Contact us if there is any way we can help at 866-928-8598.
Be confident in your security
Take positive action to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.
There's no way to guarantee safety from identity theft, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
- If you can't find your Barclays credit card, or any other credit card, call customer service to report it lost/stolen immediately.
- Keep your Social Security card in a safe location, and only share your number when absolutely necessary.
- Never keep your credit/debit card PIN in your wallet or purse.
- Ask the post office to hold your mail when you are away from home for an extended period.
- Shred unwanted receipts, credit cards, account statements and bills.
- Never give out personally identifying information over the phone, through the mail or on social networks.
- Install antivirus software on your home computer and avoid unrecognized links and attachments.
- Keep medical and insurance information secure in your home.
Identity thieves are constantly coming up with new ways to steal personal information. Reduce the chances of becoming a victim by treating sensitive documents and data with care.
Take control of mobile payments
Understand how digital wallets work to keep your personal and financial information safe.
While mobile payments aren't flawless, they're getting safer and easier every day. You no longer have to share your personal information to make a purchase.
By using digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, you only share your personal information with one company, instead of every merchant where you shop. Keeping your data in one secure place is the top benefit of using mobile payments.
Before you choose a digital wallet service, consider these questions to keep your information secure:
- Does your digital wallet require a PIN or other method of secure access?
- How does the service handle unauthorized purchases, and what is your liability?
- Is your information shared for marketing or promotional purposes?
- Is there a method you can use to dispute a purchase?
- Can you cancel or freeze the service if your phone is lost or stolen?
Mobile payments can be secure and convenient, and increasing demand means new services are being introduced all the time. Remember that when you choose a service, a little research can protect you from fraud and make sure you're sharing your information with a company you can trust.
Shop safely online
Do everything you can to keep your information secure when shopping online.
Before you start making online purchases with your Barclays credit card, keep the following steps in mind to protect your information:
- Make sure your operating system, browser and security software are up to date. Viruses and malware are constantly changing, and outdated software may not protect you.
- Research online vendors before you make your first purchase. Customer reviews are a good place to begin.
- If your purchase requires a password, be sure it contains different cases and symbols, and that it's different from passwords you use on other sites.
- Check to see that you're shopping on a secured network before you make your transaction. Look for the "padlock" icon in the address window, and an address (url) that begins with either "https" or "shttp."
- Only give the vendor information that's absolutely necessary to complete the transaction.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
- After the transaction, check your balance or purchase history to make sure the correct amount has been billed to your account.
When selecting an online vendor, it's important to trust your instinct if something doesn't feel right. There are sophisticated scams operating online, so always check to be sure you're on the correct website and that other shoppers have had a good experience with the vendor.
Improve your online experience
Our website works best with the most up-to-date browsers. If you are not already using one of our supported browsers, we encourage you to update your browser for added security, better privacy protection and a superior experience.
Browsers we support:
Edge 13+ & IE11+
Operating systems we support
Mobile operating systems:
- iOS 9+
- Android 5+
Desktop operating systems:
- Windows 7+
- Mac OS 10.9+