An unpleasant by-product of the modern era and its many conveniences is credit card fraud. Everyone knows at least one friend or acquaintance who has been hit by credit card fraud, and how its ruined many people’s credit scores. By their nature, credit cards are a payment method that’s vulnerable to fraud and other forms of criminal abuse. As infuriating as credit card fraud may be, there are definitely ways to deal with it that can minimize the damage it could cause.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Cards
Although it may seem like the Internet Age has fueled the rise in credit card fraud, the truth is that online credit card transactions are rarely a source of credit card fraud. The technology employed to protect online credit card transactions has evolved over the years, and millions and millions of transactions are conducted each day without a problem. By and large, credit card fraud is committed by people who get physical access to a card and record its relevant information. Once they’ve got it they can use it at will, either online or in person using “cloned cards” – dummy cards that have your credit card’s information superimposed on it. That is why it’s critical to get your card back as quickly as possible once you’ve given it to someone for use, and to be mindful of where you’ve used it should you need to recall that information.
The bottom line in preventing credit card fraud is to be ever-vigilant in your efforts to track your spending on a regular basis, whether physically or electronically.
What if I Think I’m the Victim of Credit Card Fraud?
Should the above efforts fail and you end up the victim of credit card fraud, there are important steps you can take to safeguards yourself from financial damage.
The first thing you should do when dealing with credit card fraud is alert your credit card company the moment you notice a transaction on your account that you’re certain you didn’t authorize. If you received any sort of unusual email in the recent past to which you responded, be sure to forward that email on to your credit card company since you may be the unwitting victim of a “phishing” scam – these emails try to trick recipients into disclosing their private financial information.
Once you’ve contacted the credit card issuer, be sure to notify your other credit card companies, regardless of whether there was any fraudulent activity on them or not, because chances are that if the thieves have access to one of your cards they could have access to the others. Alerting your other credit card companies to potential credit card fraud will keep them on their toes as they monitor the activities on your accounts. As a matter of fact, credit card companies are very pro-active about fighting against credit card fraud because credit card fraud constitute up to billions of dollars of revenue they could have if it weren’t due to fraud.
As unpleasant as the specter of credit card fraud may be, it’s heartening to remember that as clever and “resourceful” as credit card thieves have gotten over the years, they’re still up against the equally clever credit card fraud departments who seek to stop them.
Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud? Share with the Go Banking Rates community how you dealt with the situation.