Credit card fraud and identity theft are on the rise, and many people have been the victims of these crimes. As a way to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft, the credit industry has come up with what is called a “credit card fraud alert.” Credit card fraud alerts are a crucial weapon in the war against credit crimes.
Let’s say that you go on vacation in Florida, and when you arrive at the airport the first thing you do is go to rent a car. You pay with your credit card – and you’re declined. It’s a huge shock because you know there’s enough money on your credit card. You make a call to the credit card company, and it turns out that just yesterday they received a charge for $1,000 worth of electronic goods bought at a Best Buy in Topeka, Kansas. You live in San Francisco, and have never been to Topeka. Clearly, you are the victim of credit card fraud, and now you have to begin the arduous process of canceling your card and reviewing any and all mysterious purchases. You may also be the victim of identity theft, which means that someone got a hold of your personal information and used it to acquire credit cards in your name.
As part of this process, the credit card companies will issue a credit card fraud alert. Credit card fraud alerts tell creditors to contact you before they open up a new account in your name, or modify any existing accounts. As a precaution, it’s best to give out your cell phone number as the contact number so that you won’t miss any of these calls – some of them may be legitimate (i.e., you’re applying for a new credit card yourself) and if the credit card companies miss your call they may decline the request.
To learn more about credit card fraud alerts, credit cards, and identity theft read on about Credit Card Fraud. If you have been seeing purchases on your credit card that were not made by you call your credit card company.