Your Money: Keep Your Credit Cards Safe

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WITH more than 8,000 credit cards reported stolen, or lost, each day Marks & Spencer Financial Services are urging M&S Account Card customers to take out Card Protection for peace of mind.

Credit card and cheque fraud last year exceeded pounds 97 million and as the dark nights set in and Christmas approaches thieves traditionally target the crowds of shoppers.

M&SFS say that heartache and stress can be avoided by insuring cars for as little as pounds 10 a year and is urging simple safety rules to card carriers, at home or abroad.

Report lost or stolen cards immediately.

Keep details of the 24 hour credit card helpline with you. M&SFS's Card Safe policy offers a free 24 hour a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, worldwide telephone number for M&S Account Card customers to report all their missing cards.

Memorise your PIN numbers for each card - try not to write the details down.

Take extra care at cash dispensers - muggings are increasing and thieves may note your PIN number while standing behind you at a dispenser.

Always check your statements for unauthorised use of your cards and duplicate entries. Immediately report any concerns to your card issuer for investigation.

M&SFS also offers tips for those escaping the dark British winter and crowds of shoppers for warmer climates:

Only take the cards you will be using and ensure that cards left at home are safe and secure.

When abroad, take several payment methods and keep cards separate from travellers cheques and foreign cash.

Have a separate record of your card and travellers cheque numbers in case of theft. …