Credit card fraud is if someone uses a credit card or account details from another person to make unauthorized transactions or access funds through cash advances.
Credit card fraud is not only happening online; it’s even happening in brick and mortar shops. Through understanding the potentially fraudulent use of credit cards in your payment system, you will prevent severe headaches.
It can be essential to know the signs of debit and credit card fraud while acting quickly to avoid further damage. Read on to learn about 3 signs of fraud to watch out for.
Overview of the Situation: Credit Card Fraud
The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that 33 percent of all concerns about identity theft related to credit card fraud. This is a lot of trouble for credit cardholders.
Credit card fraud and debit card fraud can occur in different ways. You may have lost or stolen your credit or debit card. You may still have your cards, but somehow a thief got a hold of your credit or debit account number, PIN code, password, or other personal details.
Whatever the reason, your card information has been compromised, and somebody’s on a spending spree out there.
How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?
Theft, the most apparent type of credit card fraud, can occur in several ways, from low-tech dumpster diving to hacking with high tech. A thief can find discarded billing statements in the garbage, and then use your account details to purchase items.
A website for retail or banks could get compromised, and your card number could be stolen and shared.
Maybe a deceptive clerk or waiter will take a snapshot of your credit card and use it to purchase items or build another account. Or, you could get a call that provides a free trip or discounted travel package.
Warning #1: Unusual Notification with Your Bank
Notification of a fraudulent transaction from your credit union or bank is one of the signs of credit card fraud. This ongoing tracking of credit and debit card behavior will help detect fraudulent transactions and discourage them.
When you see an odd transaction made in the middle of the night or early morning hours on your bank or credit statement, it may be an indication that someone in a different time zone has gotten ahold of your card number and is using it.
A telltale sign of fraud is a history of buying in a region you haven’t been to in some time. Most reports of identity theft and fraud come from outlets around the world.
Warning #2: Suspicious Transactions
Some types of products are especially vulnerable to fraudulent transactions by credit card. Not surprisingly, the list contains several forms of products typically targeted for robbery or shoplifting.
Be wary of transactions involving more than one object vulnerable to fraud, such as two tablets, three gold chains, etc. Look for significant dollar transaction amounts too.
Going far above the typical purchase value will raise a red flag. Not all transactions with a high dollar value are fraudulent, but at least they deserve investigation.
Warning #3: Unexplained Withdrawals from Your Bank Account
Skimming and phishing are two methods that identity criminals use to get information about your credit and debit card and other personal information.
Skimmers are electronic gadgets installed at ATMs and gas station pumps by the criminals to read the magnetic strips of a card and read data. It is essential to be careful when you insert your card to make sure nothing appears out of the ordinary.
Phishing, by comparison, applies to emails, phone calls, or letters demanding your credit card, debit card, or other personal information. Thieves hope an unwitting customer can openly provide the details.
The three signs of credit card fraud listed above are essential indicators of credit or debit card fraud. It’s so important to be mindful of yourself and your resources and act quickly.
When you find suspicious checking or savings account deposits or withdrawals, contact your credit union or bank immediately and freeze the account.
When anyone has made an unauthorized transaction using your credit card, you can contact your credit card provider to freeze the account and report fraud.