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Hit the delete button and never respond to such an e-mail.Don't respond to e-mails—or phone calls—asking you to provide your credit card numbers, Social Security number or your mother's maiden name.

The guide also covers how to check your credit card billing statement, where to report credit card fraud and what to do when fraud strikes. Credit card fraud happens when consumers give their credit card number to unfamiliar individuals, when cards are lost or stolen, when mail is diverted from the intended recipient and taken by criminals, or when employees of a business copy the cards or card numbers of a cardholder.Even when you have a legitimate request, banks ask that you never send detailed account information in an e-mail.This is because criminals might intercept your e-mails.Victims of identity theft have to dispute these charges as fraudulent, and locate and close down all bogus accounts opened in their names. But while victims of identity theft are not held liable for the losses, it may take years for victims to clean up the financial and credit problems caused by the crime.

Credit card skimming refers to thieves making an illegal copy of a credit card or a bank card using a device that reads and duplicates the information from the original card.

Some people suggest writing "ask for ID" in the signature space. Many credit card issuers have advised merchants not to let purchases go through if the cardholder hasn't signed the card.