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Ways You Can Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud has been skyrocketing and it’s important to be aware of how to protect yourself from fraud. Learn how you can prevent fraud and act when needed.

Credit Card Fraud vs. Credit Card Dispute

To best protect yourself, it's important to know the difference between fraud and disputes.

  • If transactions post onto your account statements not authorized by you directly, that is considered fraud and should be reported to your financial institution.

  • If you did complete a transaction but it doesn’t appear correct on your account statement compared to the purchase record, you should dispute it with your financial institution. This could mean a variety of things, such as a duplicate charge, the charge was more than previously agreed upon, an item/service was never received, the quality of item/service was not as described, etc.

Common Types of Credit Card Fraud

People can take advantage of your credit or debit card in various ways, either by stealing your credit card information or simply entering relevant card information to get what they are looking for.

Here are some common types of financial crimes involving credit cards:

  • Application fraud: When someone collects your personal information that is needed to apply for a credit card, they can receive a card make purchases under your name. Your credit card company can charge you for those transactions without knowing that it is not you.
  • Credit card skimming: This requires someone or something to physically take down your card information. Once they gather your card details, they can clone your card by uploading your credit card data to a blank card.
  • Credit card theft: Whether someone steals your credit card or finds a lost one that has not been shut off, they can use it to make purchases or other transactions, in person or online.
  • Card-not-present fraud: They only must know your credit card number and card verification code to use it for online transactions.

How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself against possible fraud attempts.

  1. Regularly check your financial statements.
  2. Be more mindful of where you use your credit cards
  3. Be on the alert for phishing scams.
  4. Set a reasonable credit limit for your needs.

Reporting Credit Card Fraud

If you see any suspicious behavior on your credit card, here's what you need to do:

  • Notify the institution who issued the credit card
  • Set up a fraud alert
  • Change your online passwords
  • Continuously monitor your statements and credit reports

Don't Forget to Give a Travel Notice

If you’re planning on traveling with your credit card, notify your credit card provider and let them know ahead of time that you’ll be traveling. When you give a travel notice in advance, your credit card company will know that you will be making purchases in a different state or country. If you don’t give out a travel notice, your credit card issuer may see these charges as suspicious activity and block your card.

Learn more about some common types of fraud and current alerts and trends on our Fraud & Security Alerts Page.