Becoming a victim of credit card fraud is likely to happen to us all. We may lose our credit card (or debit card) and the finder may make unauthorized purchases. Or somehow, an online fraudster obtained our credit card information and has made unauthorized online purchases.

So what do you do when that happens?

Report it to law enforcement and provide the officer with the following information:

• Credit card number.
• Type of card (Mastercard, VISA, Discover, etc.).
• Name on card.
• Any credit card statements, emails and/or notifications of the fraudulent transaction(s).
• And get police report number to provide to the credit card company.

Contact the credit card company to report the fraudulent transaction(s) and request a stop-payment. Provide them with the same information listed above that you provided to law enforcement along with the police report number.

Also, change the PIN number. If you access the credit card company’s website to monitor and/ or make payments for the stolen/lost credit card, change the password for that account.

If the credit card company offers to cancel the stolen/lost card and issue a new one, you will need to get the new credit card number to those who receive automatic, scheduled or subscription payments (such as Netflix, PayPal, eBay).

If fraud is related to online transactions, contact the online vendors that you patronize with that card (such as eBay, Amazon, etc.) and check to see if any fraudulent transactions have occurred. You may want to delete the link to the stolen/lost credit card for those online vendors.

Finally, notify one or all of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Ask for a credit report and place a security alert.

Prevention Tips:

• Carry only what you use often.
• Monitor your statements regularly.
• Sign up for suspicious credit card activity notices.
• Keep receipts: printed or digitally saved.
• Deal with reputable companies and/or ones with security measures that can be verified.
• Ensure the URL starts with “https://.”
• Only give out your credit card number or personal information to those you can verify as trusted and legitimate.

Contact me with questions about online security. Christopher Duque |