No matter how safe you think you might be with your debit or credit card, you are still susceptible to credit card fraud. Consumers lose more than $500 million each year because of such activities. Credit or debit card fraud is an unfortunate incident that involves the use of your information by an unauthorized person. Such can occur because of online hackers, bogus offers, dishonest restaurant employees, or intricate skimming devices. You should check the balance of your cards every day as an extra security measure. The following contains some tips for handling fraud if it does come your way:
Call the Credit Card Company or Bank Immediately
You must report your loss the moment you find out that someone has made a fraudulent charge. Most credit cards and debit cards have a number on the back that you can call to speak to someone right away. The faster you report the loss, the sooner the card company can shut down your card and begin its investigation. You will most likely have to visit a bank branch and file paperwork about your debit card loss. The bank will then investigate the charges and credit the funds back into your account if it finds the charges are fraudulent.
As a consumer who has many rights, you have the right to press charges against anyone who fraudulently uses your card. The bank will let you know if it finds personal information on the person who illegally used your credit or debit card. If you would like to press charges, then you will visit your local police station and bring with you the proof that the bank gives you. A first offense of credit card fraud or identity theft is punishable by jail time of six months to several years. Making examples out of people who commit these crimes is an excellent way to deter future crimes.
Amp up Your Protective Measures
You will want to protect your cards once you experience the devastation of having someone misuse your personal information. Three tips that can save you from theft in the future are:
• Only use secure sites (https) for online shopping.
• Minimize the use of standalone payboxes (Redbox).
• Check your balances every day.
Shopping with credit and debit cards can still be an enjoyable experience if you take the extra time to protect yourself. Credit and debit card companies have many policies in place for your protection and the protection of other consumers like you.