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How to report credit card fraud

Even very cautious busineses might still end up as victims of credit card fraud.
Find out how to report credit card fraud if you ever experience it.

What do I do to report credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud prevention is essential no matter whether you’re an individual or a business. Unfortunately, while precautionary measures can significantly reduce the risk of you falling victim, it’s not always enough to guarantee that you won’t be affected by criminal activity.

If you misplace your credit card or notice any unfamiliar charges on your statement, these are the steps you need to take to report credit card fraud and get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

Report any lost or stolen cards straight away

A common way that criminals conduct credit card fraud is by using lost or stolen cards. It’s essential to act fast if you’re ever unable to locate your credit card.

Many banks and credit card companies allow you to place a temporary freeze on your card if you have misplaced it. This can be a useful option to give you time to search for a credit card if you haven’t spotted any suspicious activity on your online banking. Then, if you find your card, you won’t have to go through the cancellation process.

If you’re unable to locate your card after a while, or notice unfamiliar charges online, contact your bank or credit card provider to cancel it as soon as possible.

Immediately contact your credit card company if you spot anything suspicious

Criminals don’t need a physical credit card in their possession to commit fraud. They can use specific card details to make unauthorized transactions — meaning that you could be a victim without your card ever leaving your sight.

You should regularly review your credit statements to check for unfamiliar charges. If you do see anything that you’re uncertain of, contact your credit card provider immediately.

The majority of credit card providers will contact any merchants that have accepted fraudulent payments to reverse the charges. U.S. federal law restricts the liability of account holders to just $50, with many credit card companies employing a policy of zero liability.

Set up a fraud alert with credit bureaus

Call one of the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Request a fraud alert on your credit report to receive notifications for when someone requests to make account changes, or if they attempt to create new ones in your name.

You only need to contact one of the three credit bureaus, as within 24 hours, a notification of your request will circulate between all three of them.

The credit bureau can also provide you with a copy of your credit report, which you can review in detail for any further signs of fraudulent activity.

File a local police report right away

The next step is to find out where to file a police report. Visit your local police station to file the report and make sure that you retain a copy for your files.

Submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission

If you’ve fallen victim to identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can provide you with support, information, and a personal recovery plan. It can also refer your complaint to the relevant agencies and investigate any companies that may have violated the law.

Update your security details

It’s crucial that you make sure you don’t remain vulnerable to credit card fraud. Make sure to update any PINs, passwords, or security login details that could have fallen into the hands of criminals.

If you’re using online banking, choose a unique password that cannot be easily guessed and change it regularly. You can use password manager tools like LastPass or 1Password to keep track of multiple unique, complex password

Consider taking advantage of advanced identity verification methods, such as fingerprint scanners and voice verification, as well as updating your antivirus and spyware protection software.

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