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Experiencing credit or debit card fraud is becoming increasingly common. According to Security.org, nearly 50% of American adults have been victims of this, totalling to nearly 127 million people and amounting to $8 billion of fraudulent charges. 

With more than 1 in 3 credit or debit card holders experiencing card fraud more than once in their lifetime, Dollar Hand presents a useful guide on what to do if you experience this and how to prevent it from happening again. 

 

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What To Do When Your Credit Or Debit Card Is Compromised

 

Get In Touch With Your Financial Institution 

 

Once you have realized that your credit or debit card may be compromised or stolen, it’s essential to contact your credit card issuer immediately. Whether your wallet has gone missing or you are noticing unexpected charges on your account, getting in touch with your provider as soon as possible will give you the best chances of restoring your financial security.

As per the Fair Credit Billing Act, you will be able to retrieve any funds exceeding $50 providing that you dispute them within 60 days of receiving the charge. Financial institutions tend to be very sympathetic to victims of fraud and will work with you to help resolve the issue.

Make a list of all the charges to your account that are fraudulent. Your issuer will have 30 days to reply and should not ask for any extra fees or charges stemming from the fraudulent transactions. 

It is also worth checking that your credit rating has not been negatively impacted by the fraud. If it has, you can explain what happened to make sure they improve your credit score accordingly.

 

Change Your Login Information

 

If you have faced a breach of your finances, it’s really important to update your login with a new password. Saving your card details on a website puts your finances at risk since you are relying on them to safeguard your finances too. It’s therefore imperative to delete your credit or debit card information on any websites or from other places your card information could be saved and to then change all of your login details. 

 

Monitor Your Transactions Regularly 

 

Keeping an eye on all your transactions going forward is an important step in protecting yourself against any further fraud. Check your online statements daily and download your bank’s app to set up notifications to be alerted every time you are charged on your debit or credit card. This will help you to keep track of all charges and allow you to spot any fraudulent purchases. 

 

 

Be Wary Of Unsolicited Messages

 

Be cautious of unexpected messages via text, phone or email. Scammers can pretend to be contacting you from reputable companies and ask for personal information which a well known brand would not need from you if you were already their customer. 

Do not be fooled by scammers’ common sense of urgency as often their messages will pressurize you to act now to prevent something bad from happening. Remember that reputable sellers will never request sensitive personal information such as card details via phone or email. 

 

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Carry Out Protective Measures

 

Try to protect your future self from credit or debit card fraud by undertaking a few precautions. For instance, avoid saving your card information on any websites or apps when purchasing items. 

Guard your credit cards and keep them in a safe place – do not leave them in your car or lying around the house. Never share your credit card information over the phone or to someone via email or a letter.

 

Consider Paying By Phone

 

If possible, using your phone to make payments going forward through Apple Pay or Android Pay is a sensible idea. Both these payment methods use special technology that prevents merchants from storing any information which can help to prevent fraud. Moreover, by using password protection, face ID or touch ID, you can ensure that only you will be able to make a purchase.

 

Conclusions

 

Follow the steps mentioned above to ensure financial security for both you and your family with a renewed sense of safety. Being vigilant and keeping an eye on your financial statements will certainly stand you in good stead for taking back control of your finances.

Justine Gray

Justine is a full-time writer, specializing in household income and consumer finance across the US.