Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using or involving a payment card as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Unfortunately, identity theft and card fraud have been on the rise in recent years.
What do I do if my credit card got stolen?
Call the credit card company:
Try to contact your bank as soon as possible. The sooner you notify your bank, the bigger the possibility you get this resolved or at least seal off further payments. Indicate your account number, date and time your you discovered your card was compromised. Most of the companies provide 24/7 customer service lines to deal with emergencies.
Inform credit bureau agencies:
It's highly recommended to place a fraud alert on one of the three biggest U.S. agencies: EXPERIAN 1-800-525-6285
TRANS UNION 1-888-397-3742
Credit freeze instantly stops all access to your credit report. Fraud alert requires higher security verification of your identity before granting credit card in your name.
Inform all companies that have a fraudulent accounts opened in your name, in order to freeze an account and stop further payments.
Make a police report:
It's extremely important to do that. If a thief tries to open a new account on your name, applies for a credit card or makes fraudulent purchases, police report helps you prove that it wasn't you. Last but not least, it helps to identify the thief and stop further incidents.
How to avoid identity theft?
Prepare yourself in case your card gets stolen:
Record all your account numbers. Keep an eye on your bank statements because most of the time, fraudsters might steal amounts even as low as under $10. Keep the copies of your vouchers, also keep the ATM receipts. Check them again with your bank card statements.
Keep your personal belongings safe:
Safeguard your wallet or purse and never leave it unattended in public. Never keep all your bank cards in one place. Do not tell anyone your password and don't keep it in the same place as your credit cards.
Protect yourself from online fraud:
Only shop on secure HTTPS sites. Use a virtual credit card number if your bank offers it. This service hides your actual account when you are shopping online. It also limits additional charges.
With online banking help, you get a possibility to track your transactions on daily basis. This helps to identify and notice suspicious activities much faster.