There are also countless credit card scams out there that exist to simply get your credit card information from you in order to use it fraudulently or as a part of a total identity theft. Luckily, you are responsible for only a very small amount of fraudulent credit card charges.
Fraudulent credit card charges are a very common occurrence. In fact, anyone with a credit card is at risk for them. Even if you think you don’t have a credit card, there may still be one out there in your name, attached to your credit report that has been opened fraudulently. There are also many instances whereby a card is counterfeited and looks exactly like the one in your wallet. It is practically impossible to not be at risk for fraudulent credit card charges.
Every time you use your credit card, you run the risk of getting fraudulent charges from unscrupulous salespeople, waiters and others who handle your card. Purchasing from unsecured web sites can put you at high risk to have your credit card information stolen and used. Getting your statements in the mail puts you at risk for mail theft of sensitive credit card information. Leaving your purse or wallet unattended puts you at risk for stolen credit cards. Leaving seldom used cards in your wallet can also increase your risk of being a credit card theft victim. Accidentally losing your credit card increases the chances that you will have fraudulent charges on your credit card.
Federal Law to The Rescue
If your credit card is used fraudulently in the United States and the actual card has been stolen, you are only responsible for the first $50 in charges. If the card was used fraudulently and only the numbers were stolen not the physical card, you are not responsible at all for any charges incurred. Federal laws have placed these responsibility limits on credit card holders in order to protect them from criminal behavior.
One of the more common credit card related scams is one that is rather ironic. It involves offering you insurance against credit card liability in the case of fraudulent charges. Being aware of the federal law concerning your liability limit in such cases equips you with the knowledge to avoid such a scam.
Bank Policies Concerning Fraudulent Credit Card Charges
Most banks are sympathetic to the misery and stress caused when a credit card holder’s card has been used fraudulently. For this reason and in the interest of good customer service, most banks have instituted a zero liability policy when it comes to fraudulent credit card charges. However, in order to be sure this is the case for your credit card, you should contact your credit card provider.
What to Do After Your Card has Been Fraudulently Used
If your credit card has been used fraudulently, the first thing to do is to cancel the credit card in question in order to block any further use of your card. Immediately report the suspicious activity to the credit card company and also to the police. In addition, you will need to look at finding an alternative credit card to replace the one that was compromised.
You will also need to check your credit report if you have had fraudulent charges on your credit card, as well as on a regular basis. Be sure to get at least an annual copy of your credit report from the 3 major credit reporting bureaus: Transunion, Equifax and Experian. This will help you monitor any fraudulent charges or even new accounts set up in your name that you may not be aware of. You can even block new accounts from opening if you feel you are the victim of identity theft. Following the fraudulent charges incident, you may want to monitor your reports every month or so to ensure that they have been properly taken care of and have not adversely affected your credit.
When you are ready to replace your card, you will be pleased to learn that many credit card issuers have added security features on their cards that help to give users peace of mind when it comes to fraudulent credit card use. When you are looking to replace your credit card, these cards are always excellent choices.
In order to find out exactly what type of cards there are to meet your security needs, use our free credit card “Chaser” tool. It will find credit cards that fit your criteria and present them in an easy to compare format, so you are equipped to make the best choice possible.
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