Finding out you’re a victim of credit card fraud is unsettling, especially if your hard-earned money has been stolen. If it happens, you’ll want to take swift action to secure your account. Unfortunately, if not handled appropriately the impact of credit card fraud can be devastating and long-lasting. Below is helpful information about reporting fraud on your credit card.
Contact Your Credit Card Company
As soon as you notice suspicious activity, it’s important to contact your credit card company as soon as possible. If you have more than one credit card, you should check to see if other accounts are affected. The goal is to prevent further damage by having each affected account shut down. Another reason why you need to contact the credit card company is to ensure you are not responsible for the charges. Many financial institutions offer a zero liability policy, which means you will not be held responsible for any of the fraudulent charges.
Call the Police to File a Report
It’s crucial to file a police report so that you have a record of what has happened. This can also help if issues occur in the future that require further investigation. Sometimes fraudulent credit card use will occur at one time, without further incident. However, there are some instances when your personal information has been stolen and additional theft occurs later. Filing a police report ensures there is information about the initial theft and any subsequent breaches.
Notify Credit Bureaus
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are the three credit bureaus that should be contacted when you experience credit card fraud. This is important because they can place a fraud alert on your credit report indicating that fraudulent activity has taken place. Given the importance of your credit score when it comes to managing your financial future, communicating with all three credit bureaus is imperative. In fact, you will need to monitor your credit reports for at least a year to check for unauthorized activity. Some experts recommend monitoring your credit reports even when you are not the victim of fraud.
It’s worth noting that you can often prevent credit card fraud by having strong passwords when accessing financial accounts online. You should also change your passwords periodically.