If I had a dime for every timeI’ve been asked, “How do I protect my credit card number?” I’d be living on my own island in the Pacific. My response has always been, “Use your card whenever and wherever and don’t worry about it, but pay close attention to your statements,” because that’s really all you can do. But due to most people not carefully checking their statements, my sage advice has fallen on deaf ears.

The good news is, the agony associated with checking credit and debit card statements from different banks and painstakingly reviewing each charge is as close to being solved as ever. BillGuard, a personal finance security service, analyzes millions of consumer billing complaints to find deceptive and unwanted charges that result from misleading sales and billing practices on your credit and debit card statements all in one place.

All you do is register the cards you want protected by granting BillGuard secure, read-only access to the credit issuer’s website that displays your credit card’s transaction activity.BillGuard then scans your card activity daily, running each transaction through over 100 automated security tests, including checking the web and banks, for complaints about the merchants and charges that appear on your bills and statements. BillGuard identifies hidden charges, billing errors, misleading subscriptions, scams and fraud on your bills and statements and alerts you via email when your attention is required. A scan report email is sent monthly, providing a quick overview of your cards—and, along with it, much-needed peace of mind.

BillGuard provides a beautifully combined view of all your credit and debit cards in one place and makes it easy to understand every charge on your statements. No more painstaking calls to the bank to explain unrecognized charges! BillGuard saves you both money and time, even helping you get your money back when needed.

I’ve been using BillGuard since 2011 and it has alerted me to numerous charges that required my attention. Having a personal finance security company watching my cards (and watching my back), has helped me understand my statements and the various strange charges that most people don’t acknowledge, often resulting in hundreds of dollars lost each year.

Robert Siciliano is a fraud prevention and grey charge expert to BillGuard and is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

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