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What Should I Do If My Credit Card’s Been Frauded?

What Should I Do If My Credit Card’s Been Frauded?

Q: Help–my credit card’s been frauded! What should I do now?


A: Learning that your card’s been frauded can be stressful! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to limit the damage and help you move forward. Here’s what to do if your credit card has been compromised.


Notify your credit card issuer


As soon as you discover fraudulent activity on your credit card, call the credit card issuer. Let them know about the unauthorized charges and provide the transaction details. Most credit card issuers have 24/7 support to handle these situations right away.


Freeze your card and ask for a replacement


Ask your credit card issuer to freeze the compromised card so no additional charges can be made. Next, request a replacement card with a new account number and security code. Don’t forget to update all linked accounts with your new card info.


Review your statements and dispute unauthorized charges


It’s super-important to continue reviewing your credit card statements for any other unauthorized transactions in the months following the fraud. Report all unrecognized charges to your credit card issuer and file a dispute.


Contact a credit bureau and request a fraud alert


Next, contact one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. The bureau you contact will notify the other two. A fraud alert requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing new credit. This way, the scammer who’s frauded your credit card account can’t use your info to open accounts.


At this time, you may also want to request a credit freeze from the three credit bureaus, which will make it impossible for anyone to open a new line of credit in your name.


Monitor your credit reports


Keep a close eye on your credit reports in the months following the fraudulent activity. Check for any new accounts that may have been opened in your name or other suspicious activity. You can sign up for a credit monitoring service to make this easy.


Strengthen your online security 


Take this opportunity to change your passwords for all online banking, shopping and other financial accounts. Consider enabling two-factor authentication for added security. Be extra careful about sharing sensitive info online and be vigilant against phishing and smishing attempts. Regularly update your antivirus software and keep your devices and operating systems patched with the latest security updates.


Report the fraud to law enforcement agencies


If you’ve confirmed that you’re a fraud victim, it’s a good idea to report the crime to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to file an identity theft report. 


Credit card fraud can really wreck your life. Use this guide to know what to do in the event of credit card fraud.  

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