Credit card fraud is becoming a more and more frequent crime across the US with billions of dollars stolen from consumers each year due to this raging epidemic. Credit card fraud is the result of an unauthorized credit purchase using a stolen credit account. The problem of credit card theft and the resulting fraudulent purchases has become such a frequent occurrence that 1 in 5 people have fallen victim to the crime. Most people do not know what to do if they become a victim of the crime and do not know how to deal with credit card fraud. So what do you do when you have been a victim of credit card fraud?
Call the Credit Card Company
The very first step in dealing with credit card fraud is to call the company who issued the card and alert them of the fraudulent charges. It is a common practice in the credit industry for a company to reimburse you for the fraudulent charge almost immediately. If the credit card company does not follow the industry standard and will not reimburse you for the charge, you do have some options available. There is a federal law which protects consumers from fraud. If the fraud is a result of losing your card you can call and report the card lost. So long as the card is reported lost before the fraudulent charges are made you can recoup the cost of the charge. If the charge occurred before reporting the card lost or stolen, you would still be on the hook for $50.
Passwords / Pins
The next step to take when dealing with credit card fraud is to change your pin numbers, security phrases, passwords, and consider adding additional layers of security to account to prevent future theft. Most security experts concur that these security measures should be updated and changed on a frequent basis to maximize your chances of preventing such breaches. A good rule here is to change out your security information every three months.
Track Transactions on your Cards
As a final step in dealing with credit card fraud, it is wise to keep track of all the transactions on your cards. You should regularly check your statements to ensure there are no charges you do not recognize. Not only is this a great way to stay on top of fraudulent activity, but it is also a good habit to be mindful of your spending. The instant you notice any transaction you do not recognize you should report it to the credit card issuer.
The primary reason to stay on top of your credit card statements is to protect your credit scores from any negative repercussions of credit card fraud. Credit ratings are an essential component of qualifying for loans for cars or a mortgage on a home.
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