5 Types of Credit Card Fraud Protection

Learn about the ingenious ways banks head off identity theft and credit card fraud.

In 2016 the Nilson Report found that U.S. companies lost an average of 8.45 billion dollars due to credit card theft. To help minimize such a grand loss, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all take credit card fraud seriously, and each company offers protections to their customers. Learn how these credit card companies boost fraud protection through different services so you can better understand how to avoid becoming a fraud victim and even how to avoid setting off your own fraud alert.

1. Fraud Detection Through Suspicious Activity Monitoring

Visa provides automatic suspicious activity monitoring to all of its cardholders. The company uses analytic data for credit card fraud detection, analyzing charges to determine if they’re in line with your previous purchasing habits. Suspicious activity generates a score tied to the likelihood of credit card fraud. If it looks like your card is compromised, the issuing bank will contact you to verify the charges and freeze your account if fraud is confirmed.

Learn: How to Spot a Credit Card Skimmer

2. Location Detection to Prevent Credit Card Scams

Purchases made outside of your typical location can also alert credit card companies to possible fraud charges. Visa leverages geo-location services to track where you are through your phone. If you’re away from home, the company can verify your location automatically and authorize the purchase. Otherwise, the credit card company will decline the charges and report fraud to your bank. This service is available through mobile banking apps, so check with the financial institution that issues your Visa card for availability and opt-in information.

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3. Identity Theft Protection Service

Although many credit card scams involve thieves who steal your card information and use it themselves, online security company Symantec reports that the sale of this valuable information is also a major problem. MasterCard works with identity theft protection company CSID to monitor black market sales of credit card numbers and other personal information online. You can opt-in for this free service through the MasterCard website. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get alerts if your credit card number, Social Security number, driver’s license information or other valuable information appears on fraud-related websites.

Find Out: 6 Best Identity Theft Protection Options

4. Enhanced Account Verification for Identity Protection

Discover Card monitors customers’ log-in locations and adds an extra level of identity protection if someone tries to access your account from an unfamiliar device or do certain activities like delete cookies, change your profile or modify certain settings. The company will send a code via email, text or telephone to confirm the activity with you and if confirmed, allow you to continue. In most cases, you choose the method of contact and it’s your responsibility to keep your contact information up to date to ensure you receive the code.

Related: How SmartMetric’s Fingerprint Technology Can Help Prevent Billions in Credit Card Fraud Loss

5. Help With Recovery From Identity Theft

Despite layers of preventative measures, identity theft still happens. If you’re a victim, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission and place a free fraud alert on your records with Equifax, Transunion and Experian. MasterCard also offers a service to help their customers who become victims of credit card scams and identity theft by cancelling accounts, filing affidavits and notifying the three major credit bureaus with a credit fraud alert. This service is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-Mastercard.

Keep Reading: How to Report Credit Card Fraud

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About the Author

Barb Nefer

Barb Nefer has been writing professionally for nearly 30 years, cutting her teeth as a news writer for the Daily Southtown in Chicago. She's a doctor of psychology, and her eclectic expertise includes personal finance, psychology, travel and the pet industry. Her work reflects that diversity, with pieces appearing in places like About.com, CBS Local, Yahoo.com, WebPsychology, and Animal Wellness magazine.

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