Reporting The Credit Card Fraud To Law Enforcement
If you’ve confirmed that you’re a victim of credit card fraud, you may want to report the crime to law enforcement. To begin this process, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website. The site will then give you the opportunity to file an identity theft report, which is used by law enforcement agencies in their investigation. You can then follow up with local law enforcement, as advised by your creditors.
Not every case of identity theft necessitates getting the police involved, but doing so can help assist in investigations of theft and might help you recover belongings that were stolen along with your credit cards.
How To Identify Credit Fraud
Banks have put specific measures into place to identify and stop credit card fraud.
Your bank or credit card provider may call you if it detects unusual activity on your account. For instance, lets say you live in New York and have not called your bank to say you are going on vacation. If the bank detects card activity stemming from South Carolina, it may place a stop on your card or reach out via phone, email, or text message to ensure the purchases were yours. This may be temporarily inconvenient, but its better than having to deal with fraudulent charges on your account.
You can also set up alerts for purchases exceeding a certain amount. But be aware that thieves often process a small payment first to see if they can get away with it. Likewise, you can set your account so that youre notified of any purchase of any size.
Finally, reviewing your credit card statements or going online to check activity can help you stay on top of discovering credit fraud in a timely manner.
Skimming Credit/debit Card Information At Point
While this scam has been around for several years, skimming is still a common method of credit card fraud. Skimming occurs at point of sale systems where debit and credit cards are used to make transactions, such as ATMs, gas pumps, and cash registers. More often than not, skimming is pulled off during legitimate transactions.
One example of skimming occurs when thieves use a “universal key” to open gas pumps and embed a device that captures card numbers. They also position a pinhole camera nearby that records the pin numbers. Fake cards are then encoded with the information and fiscal havoc ensues.
How do skim artists do this without getting caught? Sometimes its an inside job, orchestrated by an employee of the institution. Other times it is just good scouting crooks pick stations that dont have adequate camera surveillance. And any of those other instances in between, its the devils work. Seriously…
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Things You Can Do Today To Prevent Credit Card Fraud
by Kimberly Rotter | Updated July 21, 2021 – First published on Dec. 24, 2020
Learn the best ways to protect your accounts from digital fraudsters during the pandemic.
What a year it’s been. The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best and worst in people. We’ve seen neighbors helping one another and people making generous donations to COVID-19 charities. Others, unfortunately, used these unique circumstances as an opportunity to rip people off. According to Experian, 18% of Americans report they’ve already fallen victim to a pandemic-related scam.
Financial crimes and credit card fraud can happen to anybody. Luckily, when it comes to financial fraud, prevention is far less grueling than repair and recovery. Here are the top nine things you can do to help protect your accounts and stay safe from scammers this holiday season.
How To Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud
With the increasing dependency on plastic money, credit card frauds can prove to be extremely damaging. Yet, one tends to neglect basic steps to avoid credit card frauds. It is imperative that every individual take necessary steps to avoid the perils of credit card fraud.
Modern-age frauds can range from theft of cards, account takeover, counterfeiting, to email/telephone order and more. The banking sector has taken multiple steps towards prevention of credit card frauds. However, consumer education is a key strategy when it comes to avoiding fraud. Here are some simple ways a consumer can self-educate and help avoid credit card fraud.
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Tips To Prevent Credit Card Fraud
Remember these tips when using your credit card in public places or at places of business:
- keep your credit card in a safe place
- limit the number of credit cards you carry with you
- cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN so no one can see it
- keep your credit card in sight at all times when making a purchase
- report anything you think is suspicious about a credit card device at a business or ATM to the businesss head office and your credit card issuer
Protect yourself from credit card fraud at home by doing the following:
- lock your mailbox if you can to prevent someone from stealing your credit card statements or replacement cards
- sign the back of a new credit card immediately after you get it
- destroy old credit cards that are no longer valid by cutting them up
- keep your credit card statements in a safe place
- shred credit card statements when you no longer need them
When banking or shopping online, look for websites with addresses starting with https or ones that have a padlock image on the address bar. These are signs that your information will be secure.
Protect yourself from credit card fraud online by also doing the following:
Over the telephone
Legitimate credit card companies dont ask for personal information over the phone. Use the telephone number found on the back of your card when you want to contact your credit card issuer.
Protect yourself from credit card fraud when on the telephone by also doing the following:
Signs Of Identity Theft
Of course, you cant correct a problem you dont know you have, so its important to know the signs that someone has stolen your identity.
Signs of identity theft include:
- You stop getting household bills in the mail, which may mean someone has changed your billing address.
- You are turned down for a loan or get approved at higher interest rates despite having a history of good.
- You get bills for purchases you didnt make or credit accounts that arent yours.
- You see unauthorized transactions on your bank, credit card or other financial statements. Even small credit card purchases are a red flag, because thieves often make such transactions to make sure the stolen card is still active before making larger purchases.
- The IRS rejects your tax returns, which may mean someone fraudulently filed in your name.
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Use Different Cards For Autopay Vs Everyday Spending
Consider designating one of your credit cards to be used only for autopay accounts, such as wireless phone bills and website subscriptions. Then dont use that card for anything else. That way, this just-for-bills credit card is not in the wild being processed by retail clerks and restaurant servers, or being swiped through gas station pump readers. Use other payment cards for everyday spending.
This technique wont prevent fraud on your everyday spending card, but if one of the cards is breached, at least you wont have the hassle of changing your autopay accounts and potentially incurring a late-payment fee.
Generally, its a good idea to keep a record of where your credit card number is stored.
Know Your Own Outliers
Payment processors continually monitor your transactions for fraudulent activity, using the power of data to uncover suspicious transactions. Transactions that fall outside the routine will often be flagged as potential fraud. Unfortunately those filters can flag legitimate transactions. Thats known as a false positive, something every business wants to avoid.
If you need to perform any transaction that is out of character for your business, give your processor a call first. For example, if you are a restaurant that typically does $30 swiped or dipped transactions, call your processor before you manually run a $5,000 sale for a catered wedding. If you’re going to run an unusually large transaction, call ahead to let processor know what you’re doing.
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Next Steps If Youre Having A Hard Time Reporting Credit Card Fraud On Your Own
If you’ve attempted to file a police report with no success or if you’re having a hard time dealing with the FTC, don’t stress. Many consumers make the mistake of growing frustrated and giving up. Unfortunately, problems with identity theft don’t simply go away on their own. Rather than leaving them unchecked, let DoNot Pay manage this process instead.
With DoNotPay, you can:
- Quickly file a police report in your jurisdiction
- Set up fraud alerts with the three main credit reporting bureaus
- File an FTC official report
- Freeze your credit reports
DoNotPay even has services to help you sue for identity theft.
How to Deal With Identity Theft Using DoNotPay:
And that’s it! DoNotPay will make sure your issue gets sent to the right place. We’ll upload confirmation documents to your task for you to view, and if the contacts need more information, they will reach out to you personally via email or mail.
Get Virtual Account Numbers
Check with your credit card company to see if it offers a virtual-number service. This feature creates a temporary one-time card number for each purchase transaction you make online. Your real card information isn’t exposed during the checkout process, but the temporary number is still linked to your account to register your purchase activity. If hackers obtain your data later on, they won’t have your real card number.
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What Is Credit Card Fraud
in which criminals make purchases or obtain cash advances using a credit card account assigned to you. This can occur through one of your existing accounts, via theft of your physical credit card or your account numbers and PINs, or by means of new credit card accounts being opened in your name without your knowledge. Once they’re in, thieves then run up charges and stick you and your credit card company with the bill.
Because card issuers are well-versed in dealing with card fraud, it’s unlikely that being defrauded will cost you money out-of-pocket over the long haul, but necessary investigations can take months and, as discussed at greater length below, unaddressed credit card fraud can do major damage to your credit reports and scores.
Dealing with credit card fraud can cost you a great deal of time and aggravation, and the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars every year adds to the overall cost of using credit cards for all account holders.
Credit card fraud is a form of a broader category of crime known as identity theft, by which criminals use your personal information to impersonate you and hijack your finances. In addition to credit card information, identity thieves can use credentials including your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number to take over bank accounts, take out loans in your name, and apply for bogus tax refunds, unemployment benefits and Social Security checkstaking advantage of benefits you’ve earned.
Watch Out For Social Media Scams
According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers may offer attractive deals by email or on social media but, once the payment is made online, no product or service is delivered. Or, they’ll send low-quality or counterfeit products.
Research the website or business through an independent source before making a purchase. Most consumers don’t do that. Also, check the website and URL for errors or inconsistencies.
And, make sure you see an “s” strategically positioned in the web address. Look for “https” in the URL and a small lock icon on the address bar. The BBB says never enter payment or personal information into a website with only “http” it is not secure.
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If Your Phone Is Your Wallet Treat It Like One
If youre using your phone as a mobile wallet, then give it the security any wallet deserves by taking advantage of the security features your phone maker offers. This may take some time upfront, but itll help you prevent credit card fraud in the long run.
These features range from iPhones touch ID to PIN codes that can keep your phone locked and secure when youre not using it.
You may also consider getting a mobile security app that will allow you to put an extra password on the apps you use for shopping and banking.
You might find the option included in the security program youve installed on your mobile device, like the App Lock feature in McAfee Mobile Security. Or as a free, stand-alone app, like Nortons App Lock.
Ways To Avoid Credit Card Fraud
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Review The Billing Statement
Another necessary step for credit card fraud prevention is consistent review of the billing statement for each month. Unauthorized charges are a sure sign of credit card fraud. Under such circumstances, the extent of the fraud is immaterial, as even a small unauthorized charge should be reported immediately to the credit card service provider. Usually, in this case, the service provider will instruct you to close the account and apply for a new account number. At Standard Chartered, the user gets an SMS and email notification each time the credit card is used. In case of unauthorized transactions, it is recommended that you report it immediately and block the card. Click here to know how to do this yourself via Online banking or SC Mobile.
Top Tips To Help You Avoid Debit And Credit Card Scams
Here are just a few of our expert pieces of advice and insights on ways you can help ensure youre always paying for things securely and protecting yourself against card scams.
1 Always to keep your Visa card in sight when youre paying for things
2 Keep an eye on your account for payments you dont recognise. If possible, set up transaction alerts on your banking apps
3 If you see a card payment you don’t recognise, report it to your card provider immediately
4 Never share your card details or PIN with others
5 Only communicate with your bank through official, secure channels with password or identity protection
6 Be wary of unexpected emails, texts or calls from your bank and check with your bank if you are unsure before responding to emails or text messages.
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How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud With Obfuscation
Obfuscation is a method of securing sensitive data by altering or masking the data so it is unreadable without the aid of protected keys or other additional information. Popular data protection technologies that offer obfuscation are tokenization and encryption. Encryption works by using a protected key to encrypt the data, applying a code to it that changes the original information into what appears to be random characters. Tokenization exchanges the sensitive data for a randomly generated placeholder called a token and stores the original information in a secure cloud offsite. Encryption can be reversed by applying the key to decrypt the data, whereas tokenization cant be reversed by an outside party, per se, only exchanged for the original data by a user with the proper identification and credentials.
In effect, breached systems that contain encrypted or tokenized data prevent credit card fraud and stop hackers from stealing sensitive data by rendering the data unreadable and therefore worthless, providing an additional layer of protection in the event of a breach. Again, cybercriminals cannot commit credit card fraud if they cant access the data required in order to do it.
Shop On Reputable Sites
Stick with websites for established, known merchants and businesses you’ve bought from in the past. Don’t take a chance on an unknown website unless you can verify the people behind it. This is especially true if you find something you want for an incredibly low price. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” says Bruemmer.
Also, consider using a credit card and not a debit card when you shop online. Some debit cards have weaker protection against fraudulent use. Check with your card issuer to find out what your liability is in case of theft.
Always check website URLs when you shop. Look for a padlock icon and a URL that begins with “https://.” Don’t share personal information if there’s no “s” — it shows there’s a secure connection between you and the website. Entering your credit card info over an insecure connection is an open invitation for .
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