Nobody wants to experience credit card fraud, but it’s something that can happen to even the best of us. When it does happen, it can be scary and confusing, which is why it’s important to have a plan of action for both right now and the future.
Cancel Your Compromised Card
First things first, however: you have to cancel the card that the scammer is using. This is often as easy as phoning the bank and letting them know that someone is using the card for fraud. Let them know that your card has been breached, and they’ll cancel it.
Let the Bank Know Which Charges Are Fraudulent
Take a look through your expenses and note any that look odd or ones you don’t remember making. For example, the vendor is a store that you never shop in, or the store’s location is somewhere you’ve never been.
A big red flag is an unknown transaction that was made with a “Card Not Present” (CNP) payment method. This means someone made a payment using your details but didn’t have the card on-hand to prove it. It’s easier to get your money back from these charges, and the merchant will have to cover the cost.
Try to Figure Out How the Leak Occurred
Now that the card has been canceled and the fraudulent charges are being investigated, it’s time to do some detective work yourself. The reason your card was used by someone else was that someone else got the following information:
- Your name
- Your billing address
- The card number
- The security code on the back
These are all pieces of data that really should not be floating around the Internet. As such, try to think of any time you made a purchase with the card that seemed a little shady at the time. There’s a good chance an online payment you made wasn’t as secure as you had hoped, and someone gleaned your payment information from it.
As such, take this time to think about all the ways your details may have leaked. You don’t have to worry too much about revisiting those areas and scrubbing your information; after all, now that the card has been frozen, those details are useless. However, it’s still useful to note the areas you felt suspicious about. The last thing you want to do with your new card is to load the details onto every website and have them stolen again!
If the fraudulent sale came from a specific website that you use, your account may have been hacked. Try to log in to the website and look for an order history to see if they used your account. If they did, immediately change your password and any website that uses the same one (which is hopefully none of them).
Secure Your New Card
When your new card arrives, try to use it more safely than you did your last one. This means not giving your details out to websites if you can help it. Even if you trust the website you’re using, they may leak the information in a data breach.
As such, reduce the number of times you enter your details into a website directly. If you can, try to use methods such as PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay, which don’t reveal your bank details to the merchant.
Credit and debit card fraud can be stressful and terrifying, but there’s a lot you can do to combat it. Check your statements for any strange purchases, alert the bank as soon as you see them, then draw up a potential reason why the scam happened. When you get your new card, take care of what websites you share the card details to.
Have you or someone you know suffered from credit or debit card fraud? What tips would you add to the above? Let us know below.
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