Credit card fraud: what to do?
Discovering that you are a victim of credit card fraud can be a frightening and frustrating experience. Even if you are careful with your card and your account details, sometimes fraud is unavoidable, so you shouldn’t blame yourself. It’s never a pleasant thing to think about, but preparing now for a possible fraud incident can help you navigate the situation with calm and confidence. If you’re ever a victim of credit card fraud, here’s what to do.
The first thing you can do to protect yourself from credit card fraud is to know what kinds exist. Gone are the days when someone had to steal your card from you in order to make fraudulent charges. Now, with new technology and increasingly determined fraudsters, criminals can access your account information via email, telephone, and even “dummy” cash machines that record your financial info without you ever knowing it.
And because even the most vigilant credit card holder can possibly become a victim of fraud, it also pays to know what to do if it happens to you. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm. There are laws in place that can help you recover any financial losses due to fraud, including account fees, so there’s no need to worry.
What you should do, however, is collect all the information you can about the last transactions you made with the card in question. If you have online banking, you should print out the latest version of your card statement. If not, try to remember the last time you used your card, including the location, the date and time, and the amount you charged. This will help you during the next step.
You should contact your bank immediately to let them know that your card has been stolen or used fraudulently through other means. This will prompt them to freeze any access to your funds. Give them all the information that you can concerning the final transaction that you made on your card so that they can determine when the fraudulent activity began. If only your card details were stolen, your bank will contact the police on your behalf, which streamlines the process and makes less work for you. However, if you were physically robbed, you will have to contact the police as well to report it as a separate incident.
According to the Payments Council, there are active laws that assure that you won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges on your card, as long as you were not explicitly negligent in your card use. And if the crime took place as a result of a cashpoint fraud, the LINK cash machine network also ensures that your money will be replaced.
And if you find yourself in need of additional legal advice, you should contact a law firm with experience in fraud cases, such as Irwin Mitchell. As long as you have the information you need to meet credit card fraud head on, you’ll be able to put scammers in their place.