Thursday, 6 March 2014

Credit Card Fraud, who is responsible?

If you’ve ever found a fraudulent charge on your credit card the first place you call is the credit card company to report it. Most of are under the impression as credit card customers we’re not liable for any illegitimate charges on our card and will therefore be reimbursed immediately. That has not been the case for a man who claims a more than $80,000 charge on his bank issued Visa was not made by him. The bank argues the charge was made by entering the man’s pin in to the point of sale terminal and therefore is not the bank's fault. The case is ongoing but raises serious questions of the responsibility of credit card customers when it comes to illegitimate charges.  Here’s what every credit card user should be doing to protect themselves.

1.       Have one card exclusive for online shopping.

By keeping one card to make purchases on line and over the phone you can better keep track of purchases being made online. Make sure you change the PIN on this card frequently.

2.       Keep credit limits on your cards low.

This is especially true for the credit card you are using for your online purchases. Avoid carrying any card that has limit larger than what you will ever need. If you monthly credit card bill is $2000 than keep your limit close to that.

3.       Don’t charge everything to one card.

To take advantage of rewards points and loyalty credits many family carry credit card connected to one account. This can make it very difficult to recognize when an illegitimate charge is made. With so many transactions each moth it’s easy for an illegal one to hide. Criminals often make a small charge to a card to see if it goes unnoticed and then make a bigger purchase later.

4.       Check statements weekly.

Take five minutes every week to sit down and check your statements on line, cross check them with you receipts. This will you stay on top of you charges and easily recognize one that is not correct. This is good practice for you keeping your spending in check as well.

5.       Let your credit card company know when you travel.

The chance of you information being defrauded is not any greater when you travel but by letting the credit card company know you will be out of the country it makes  helps build a case if your information was ever stolen.

6.       When your card is defrauded, ask bank to tell you where and how.

By getting some information of who the fraudulent activity happened you may be able to take steps to protect yourself from future problems. Banks may be reluctant give all the details if they have an ongoing case, but any bit of clarification will help you.

7.       Be proactive and call your credit card company to have your rights explained when it comes to fraudulent charges.

If you are carrying around a card with say a $10,000 limit you should know what you rights are if that credit is somehow illegally tapped. Don’t assume you will always be protected, use the example of the guy who is disputing the $80,000 charge and bluntly ask fi this could happen to you.

8.       Don’t ever lend your card and your pin.

This is the classic advice since plastic card were first introduced. Never share you information and never lend you card out for purchases even if it’s to a trusted friend.

9.       Keep your financial card PINs exclusive

We are bombarded by requests to enter a pin for almost anything we do online. It can be easy to choose one password for everything, this may be ok for less sensitive information but when it comes to you financial data make sure the PIN is unique, exclusive to that card and changed often. It is the best way to protect yourself from identity theft and financial fraud.



1 comment:

  1. Keeping your eye on your check statement can make life easier. You can easily track when a fraud actually happened because you have very few transactions where you'll look at. That way, it will be easier which transaction was fraud.