Credit card fraud and identity theft often go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, there are many ways an identity thief can access a victim’s account information and use it to make fraudulent purchases – from using items in a stolen wallet to collecting card numbers from skimming devices.
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA):
- Your maximum liability for unauthorized credit card use is $50
- Victims aren’t responsible for any unauthorized charges if they report the loss before the card is used.
- You aren’t liable for unauthorized use at all if your credit card number is stolen but not the card itself.
However, this type of fraud can seriously jeopardize a victim’s credit score in the long term and can cause the victims enormous amounts of time and stress in the aftermath.
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips
- Never leave your wallet, purse or briefcase unattended.
- Don’t carry around a lot of credit cards; only carry around the ones you intend to use.
- Always get your receipt from the merchant; there is a possibility that your card number is included on it.
- Shred all unwanted receipts and monthly statements. Identity thieves can sift through your trash in order to commit identity theft.
- You should also shred any expired cards, as the number is still likely a valid one.
- Review your credit statement carefully as soon as it arrives. Immediately report anything that is inaccurate.
- Request an annual report from the three national credit reporting agencies.
- Report any suspected fraud immediately. The sooner theft is reported, the sooner your account can be frozen and the identity thief can potentially be caught.
- Make a list of your credit card numbers and expiration dates and keep it in a safe location in your home. That way, if your wallet is stolen or your statement shows unusual activity, you don’t have to waste time hunting for the information you will need to sort things out.
Secure your accounts with fraud protection
Even if you follow all of these preventative measures, there is still a chance that you could become a victim of fraud. You may want to consider researching ID theft protection services that can provide you with more comprehensive identity theft protection.