BOSTON (CBS) – You need to protect what’s in your wallet. You need to protect your numbers. Credit card numbers, ATM numbers, Social Security numbers, pin numbers.

Many of us shop online and must give out our credit card number. If you are unsure about a site, use PayPal instead of your credit card to purchase the merchandise.

When you send a check to the credit card company only put the last four digits of your card number on the check.

Some card holders are losing their points to credit card fraud. The thief goes after the points; doesn’t try to charge anything just uses the points. Usually they request a gift card. So check your points with each statement.

Beware of someone calling you about your account. You could get a call telling you that your account has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern. The caller may ask if you purchased a computer at a store in North Dakota. Your answer is “no”.

Then they offer to issue you a new credit card, asking you to verify that you have the card in question in your possession. They ask you to read off the last three numbers that appear on the back of your card. You do so.

The caller gives you a control number. He’s never asked you for your credit card number so you never think credit card theft. That’s what just happened! Those three numbers are your card’s verification value and the thief now has them. He got the rest of your number from some other source and he now has the ability to convince online and phone merchants he is you.

Don’t give out any personal numbers when someone calls you. Tell them you’d like to verify their request. Call the 800 number on the back of your card and don’t use a telephone number they give you!

Make the time to get online and check your credit card statement at least weekly.