How to Report Credit Card Fraud
Suspicious activity or unrecognized charges on your credit card statement might be signs of identity theft. If you believe you are the victim of credit card fraud, it is imperative to act quickly. Identity theft and accounted for more than 13 percent of consumer complaints registered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2014.
Notifying Your Card Issuer
Call your card issuer.Call immediately as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity. The toll free number of your credit card issuer can be found on the back of your credit card. If your card has been lost or stolen, refer to published by CreditCards.com.
- Once you notify your card issuer, they will initiate an investigation. Your card issuer will also contact merchants and reverse any fraudulent charges. You are not responsible for any charges that occur once you report the fraud.
- Federal law states that if you are unable to report a lost or stolen card before it is used, you can only be held liable for up to of fraudulent charges.
Follow up with written notification.Send a letter to your credit card issuer. Include your credit card number and the date you initially filed the report. If your card was lost or stolen, reference the date in the letter. If your found suspicious or fraudulent activity on your statement, report that information in the letter.
Complete a credit card fraud affidavit.The credit card issuer will may send you a fraud affidavit. If they don’t, complete an . This is a formal statement of the facts surrounding your case.You will need this affidavit when reporting the fraud to the police and to the credit reporting agencies.
- Sign and date the form in the presence of a law enforcement officer or a notary.
- The affidavit will ask for personal information, such as your name, address and Social Security number.
- You will be asked to report information about the fraud, such as the name of the person who used your credit card (if you know it) and any other information you know about the crime.
Filing a Police Report
Keep a copy of the police report and the case number.Ask for a copy of the police report to keep for your records. The police department will issue a case number for your report. Refer to the case number if you have to contact the police about your case.
Understand why filing a police report is necessary.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recommends filing a police report. The police may not be instrumental in identifying the person who committed the fraud. However, filing a report firmly establishes your innocence should you need to contest charges down the road. In addition, filing a police report notifies law enforcement authorities about financial crimes that are occurring in the area.
Contacting the Credit Bureaus
Place a fraud alert with one of the three credit reporting bureaus.The three credit reporting bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You only need to contact one of them. Once you do, that agency will contact the other two.
- Visit , or call 1-888-766-0008.
- Go to the , or call 1-888-397-3742.
- Go to the page, or call 1-800-680-7289.
- The credit reporting agencies will send you a letter to verify that the fraud alert has been placed on your file.
- Placing a fraud alert is free. It remains on your file for 90 days.
- A fraud alert protects you because it requires businesses to contact you before issuing credit in your name.
Obtain a copy of your credit report.Placing a fraud alert entitles you to a free copy of your credit report. Follow the directions on your fraud alert confirmation to obtain your credit report.
- You can also get a free credit report once per year from or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
- If you have already received your free credit report, you can pay any of the credit reporting agencies to receive an immediate copy of your credit report.
Review your credit report.Note any unusual or suspicious activity. Look for unauthorized transactions on your credit card accounts. Report any unauthorized credit activity to the credit issuer. Use information from your credit report when completing your police report and your report to the FTC.
Filing a Report with the Federal Trade Commission
Complete the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) .Select the identity theft category. Then select the appropriate subcategory related to your case, such as data breach, lost wallet or purse or identity theft. Follow the prompts to submit all of the relevant information about the crime. Skip any items that don’t apply to you, and provide as many details as you can.
Give details about the identity theft.Provide the date on which you noticed the identity theft. Indicate how much time and money you have spent trying to resolve the matter yourself. Submit details about the credit issuer and the type of credit account that has been used. Indicate whether you intend to file a complaint against the company. Tell whether you have been contacted by debt collectors about this account.
Provide information about the person who stole your identity.If you know who stole your identity or fraudulently used your credit card, fill out what you know. Provide the person’s name and address. Indicate how the person is related to you, if applicable. Note how you think the person got a hold of your information.
Tell whether or not you have contacted law enforcement.If you have filed a police report, include this information. Provide the date you filed the police report. Indicate the name and location of the police department. Fill in the name of the officer who took the report. Provide the officer’s contact information.
Provide information about fraud alerts.Indicate whether you have contacted any of the credit bureaus and placed a fraud alert on your file. Note whether you have a complaint about any of the credit reporting agencies. Identify what information on your credit report is now inaccurate as a result of the crime. Provide information about credit inquiries that appear on your report as a result of the identity theft.
Verify your identity.Provide information verifying your identity, such as your name, address and contact information. Indicate how long you have lived at your current address. Provide your driver’s license number if you have one. Include your date of birth and your Social Security number.
Tell your story in your own words.In the comments section of the document, you can write about what happened. Provide any additional information that wasn’t covered in any of the previous sections. Don’t repeat your Social Security number, date of birth or any account numbers in this section. You can enter up to 3,500 characters in this section.
Review and submit your complaint.Review the information you have provided. Make any necessary edits. Once you are satisfied that the information is correct, click on “Submit” to file your complaint with the FTC. Print out a copy of the complaint and keep it for your records.
QuestionIs it fraud if someone purchased an ,500 vehicle with a credit card, but instead of getting the vehicle, they received the cash from the dealership instead?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, because it might be that the dealer was unable to provide the car and therefore returned the money.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do if I lent my landlord money from my credit card, but he stole more than I told him he could borrow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou must have a video footage of your conversation, or any other solid evidence. A voice recording and agreement papers about your money with his signature is also another alternative. Avoid pictures, as they are considered to be "pseudo evidence."Thanks!
QuestionHow can I detect fraud?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you've kept track of your purchases, you should be able to tell which purchases you made and didn't make fairly easily. If not, you can call your credit card company and inquire about suspicious transactions or charges. They should be able to tell you when and where each purchase was made. If you're concerned someone has opened a fraudulent credit line in your name, you might consider obtaining a detailed credit report to see your current credit and credit lines open.Thanks!
QuestionAre there any rewards for reporting someone who is committing credit card fraud?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerReport it through your local Crime Stoppers; if it leads to an arrest, they may offer you a reward.Thanks!
QuestionIs it fraud if someone charges a boat on their credit card and instead of receiving the boat they give her ,500 instead, and then she files for bankruptcy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLikely yes. Both the seller of the boat and the purchaser of the boat could be charged for defrauding the credit card company. In the end, by working together, both the seller and the buyer profit and the credit card company is left holding the bag.Thanks!
We have received several rejected credit applications at our home address for people we have no connection or knowledge of who they are. How do we report this to ensure nothing is associated to us?
Would it be credit card fraud if a person agrees on a three way phone call to pay 500 then 3 months later says they never agreed to pay and business gets fraud charge against it?
What police department do I file a report with if my credit card was used in another state but the card is in my possession?
My relatives opened a very large credit account in my dead mothers name, who do I notify?
I know someone who is committing credit card fraud and buying Best Buy prepaid cards, and trying to sell them/using them for Lyft services. What can I do about this?
Video: Legal Information : How to Report Credit Card Fraud
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