How Credit Card Frauds Are Caught: Guide to Credit Card Fraud Investigation
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What Is Credit Card Fraud?
In-person (or card-present) fraud. This is when someone steals your physical credit card or creates a counterfeit card with your account information and uses the card in person at a store. Remote (or card-not-present) fraud. This occurs when someone uses your credit card account information to make a purchase from a remote location, such as online, over the phone, or by mail.
How Are Credit Card Frauds Caught?
How Often Do Credit Card Frauds Get Caught?
How Do Credit Card Companies Investigate Fraud?
Transaction timestamps This reveals when the buyer made the purchase. IP address If the IP address doesn’t match that of the cardholder, it can suggest fraudulent activity Geolocation data This can help pinpoint where the buyer was located when they made the purchase. Buying patterns Here, the bank is looking to see if the purchase appears outside of the cardholder’s typical pattern. For example, is this something they would typically purchase? Account activity The bank will look at whether the charge was a single incident or if there were several unauthorized transactions tied to the cardholder’s account.
What Fraud Protection Measures Do Credit Card Issuers Provide?
EMV chips Unlike traditional magnetic swipe cards, these cards are embedded with a small gold- or silver-colored microchip that makes it harder to copy the information stored on the credit card. Contactless credit cards Tapping a card or using a mobile device with a digital wallet at the point of sale can be safer than swiping or even inserting your card. Many cards come with contactless payment on the card and are compatible with the digital wallet on your smartphone. Virtual card numbers These are temporary card numbers that can be created online or through an app that safeguard your real card information. Card lock This is a feature that allows you to freeze your credit card account from your online account or mobile app so no one is allowed to use it. Card lock prevents anyone from making new purchases, while recurring automatic transactions, like subscriptions, go through.
How Long Does It Take to Catch a Credit Card Theft?
What to Do if You Are a Victim of Credit Card Fraud
Contact your credit card issuer right away. As soon as you notice your card is missing or you see an unauthorized charge, get in touch with your card issuer. They can cancel your card (preventing any further charges) and send you a replacement. Change your account passwords. Unless your card was lost or stolen, you can’t be sure how the thief got your credit card information. For this reason, it can be a good idea to change passwords to any accounts where your card information was stored. Add a fraud alert to your credit reports. This will bolster the verification process if someone applies for credit using your identity. When you request an alert with one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, they will notify the others. Lock (or freeze) your credit report. If you notice multiple credit cards or financial accounts being used without your knowledge, you may want to contact the major credit bureaus to request a credit freeze or lock. This prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report, and, in turn, anyone from opening an account in your name. (However, you’ll need to remember to remove the lock if you want to apply for a new account.) File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will refer your complaint to the relevant authorities and offer resources to get you back on track. Typically, filing an FTC complaint means you don’t need to file a police report.
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
Keeping your wallet and cards secure. Make sure your wallet is safely tucked inside your bag or front pocket, and always check that your card is in your wallet when you come home. Keeping close tabs on your account. Rather than wait until your monthly credit card statement is issued, it’s a good idea to frequently check activity on the account by going online or using your credit card’s app. This way, you’ll be able to spot (and resolve) any problems right away. Not carrying all your credit cards at the same time. If your wallet gets stolen, you may forget to call one of the credit card issuers to report the theft. Never giving your account information to someone who contacts you. If someone calls, emails, or texts you claiming to represent your bank or credit card company, refrain from giving out any personal information. Simply call your bank or issuer directly to see if the query was legitimate. Setting up account alerts. You may be able to set up alerts for your credit card account, such as getting a text for any online (or “card not present”) transaction, or any transaction that exceeds a certain amount. This can help you spot unauthorized transactions and dispute them right away. Using a secure connection. Information can be stolen over public Wi-Fi. When shopping online, it’s better to use a personal device and a private Wi-Fi connection.
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