What Should I Do About Fraudulent Credit Card Activity?

Women Who Money
5 min readNov 26, 2018

While you’re working hard to find great deals and optimize your holiday shopping, criminals are working hard to steal and use your credit card information. If you haven’t experienced an unauthorized charge on a credit card yet, you probably know someone who’s been a victim of fraudulent credit card activity.

Thieves don’t wait for the holidays to steal. But with extra charges on credit cards this time of year — they likely get away with it more.

Warning Signs of Credit Card Fraud

You may not even realize someone is trying to use your credit card number. Banks and credit card companies take many precautions to flag fraudulent charges. Transactions may be declined, or cardholders may be required to confirm a purchase.

This usually happens if an item doesn’t match your normal spending patterns. Or if the sale originates from foreign or high-fraud geographic locations not near your residence.

During this hectic time of year, be extra careful about possible phishing attempts too. Criminals may call, email, or send texts in an effort to get you to share personal information. Before you tell them anything, obtain the official phone number of the company who is asking for information and call them to verify the request.

“Chip” credit cards may not be as vulnerable to skimming, which is another threat to stealing your credit card information. Skimmer devices have been found on gas pumps and ATM’s across the country, so always make sure to look at the card reader for any evidence of tampering.

If you have any doubt about putting your credit card in the reader, go inside to pay with your card or use cash to avoid problems.

Take Action to Prevent Fraudulent Credit Card Activity

It’s essential you take an active role and not just rely on financial institutions to contact you when they detect problems. Check your credit card accounts frequently and review every charge.

Criminals often try a series of small purchases before going on a shopping spree. The better you keep track of your spending, the sooner you’ll notice anything suspicious.

Women Who Money

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