• Don't give your account number, credit card number, or any other important info over the phone unless you've initiated the call.

• Never write your account number or PIN on the outside of an envelope or postcard. Enter your PIN in such a way that no one can easily memorize your keystrokes.
• Draw a line through blank spaces on charge slips above the total to prevent any changes. You want to tip well, but not that well.
• Save receipts. Pretend they're old concert tickets.
• Always check receipts against your monthly statements. If anything looks fishy, report it within 60 days of the statement's mailing date. Unless you actually bought fish with your card, in which case, don't report it.
• Make a list of card numbers, expiration dates, and the toll-free numbers of your credit card companies. Keep this record in a safe place, separate from where you keep your cards. Use this information if you ever have to report your cards lost or stolen.
• Carry only the cards you need, especially when shopping. To clarify: you may need 1 or 2 cards.
• Never lend your card to anyone, and don't leave cards or receipts lying around your room, no matter where you live.
• Sign your card, or put see I.D. -- as soon as you receive it! (Obviously, this is only as effective as the clerk who's checking it.)

• Also, don't throw out your credit-card statement, receipts or carbons without first shredding them!

• Check your monthly statement to make certain all charges are your own, and immediately notify the card issuer of any errors or unauthorized charges.

For more information on credit card/debit card safety, go to the Better Business Bureau website at