How do I report credit card fraud?

credit-card-fraud-what-to-doAccess to a credit card allows people to earn all kinds of important benefits including the opportunity to create a high credit score. Unfortunately, credit cards also come with some downsides. One of the most common problems associated with a credit card is the potential for fraud. Fraud is a highly common crime, one that is on the rise as thieves find it easier than ever to access important information from sources like online stores.

Credit card fraud can create all sorts of havoc in your life should you become a victim. A false credit card report may prevent someone not only from buying a product but also from getting a good mortgage rate or even a well-deserved promotion. If you think you have been the victim of credit card fraud, it is imperative you report the fraud as soon as you possibly can.

Your first step is to find out all you can about your card. Many people have multiple credit cards. Make sure that you know the exact name of the credit card involved. You will need to come to any report with as much information as possible about the details of the card use and the cardholder or cardholders if you and your spouse both share a credit card. This should include the name or names in which the card is held. It should also include the credit card number and the card’s expiration date. If you or your spouse use a different name on the card (such your maiden name) than the name you use for other purposes, this should be noted as well.

Be prepared to have all this information on hand before you do anything else. You will likely need your social security number as well as that of your spouse. You will also probably need his social security number and date of birth as well as your own.

Once you’ve gotten all information, you will need to file an identify theft report with your local police. You then need to call the credit card issuer. Note the people you speak to during the process including their names and titles. After you’ve finished the conversation, you should immediately write a letter providing all details about the fraud to the credit card company. Send it to your credit card company’s billing errors department. Ideally, mail it certified mail to confirm it was sent. The company will begin an investigation. You should be kept abreast of this investigation at every turn including when the investigation is concluded. At that point you have the right to ask for written conformation from the company that you have been exonerated.

In the meantime, file a fraud alert with Experian, Equifax and Transunion. These are the three major credit reporting companies in the United States. The companies will let merchants know that any further use of your credit card is unauthorized. This may help police catch the perpetrator. It will most certainly make sure that your credit rating is protected.

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