Home / Blog / How to Spot Credit Card Fraud

How to Spot Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a big problem in today’s world. And it can be a huge hassle to fix. But in order for you to fix the damage, you must first know that someone is using your credit card. This sounds quite simple, but many people don’t even realize that someone has stolen their identity. And you don’t want to wait until it is too late.
So, what should you do to quickly spot fraud?
  • Before doing anything else, you should check your wallet and credit cards. Do you have all of them? If you are missing one, you should call your credit card company immediately and ask them to cancel the card. 
  • In today’s world though, hackers use technology more often than not. It’s easy to notice a card or your wallet missing, but identity thieves no longer need your card to get your information. So, it may not be obvious that something is amiss. The most important thing you can do is to check your bank statements. Make sure that every transaction is correct, and there are no unauthorized purchases. If you do see suspicious transactions or charges that you are not sure you made, it is a sure sign that your card has been hacked. 
  • Another big way that hackers steal your information is through online transactions. So, before you make an online purchase, take a look at the website to insure it is not just a scam. Secured websites will always have https in the URL, and there will be a lock icon in the window of the browser. If the website does not have both of these things, it is not a secure and reliable website and could very well be a scam.
  • Last, if you get any sort of letter, text, or email asking for your personal information, it may be fraud. Check to make sure that the source is accurate, and do not reply directly to that message. Only give your information to a secured website or on the phone to someone you know is a representative of that company.
Once you catch fraudulent activity, what do you do?
If you are a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, it is important to call your credit card company immediately. Let them know your specific circumstances, including any unauthorized activity or suspicious transactions that have happened. Your card issuer may have you verify the last few transactions to figure out when the fraud started. The bank will then cancel your card and give you another one with a new number on it. The next thing you’ll want to do is alert the 3 major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The agencies will put a fraud alert on your credit file, so that lenders know you have been a victim of fraud. That way, lenders will not immediately reject your applications for loans, credit cards, and more. They will instead be able to verify your request for new credit or a loan by not just using your credit score alone. Another way to protect your account is to place a credit or security freeze on it. This will stop creditors from pulling your credit report or score; however, it can be costly and time consuming to unfreeze it.  
Luckily, there are many federal protections available to consumers who have been a victim of identity theft and credit card fraud. Most card issuers are expected to reimburse you for unauthorized transactions as long as you follow the necessary steps to report the fraud. So, if you have been a victim of fraudulent activities, spot it and report it fast!
Blog Tags: 

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Get the latest tips & advice from our team of 30+ credit & money experts, delivered to you via email each month. sign up Now

Alice Bryant's picture

Alice Bryant is the Editor of Creditnet and a personal finance expert with over a decade of experience writing about credit cards, credit scores, debt repair, and more.

Visit 's Google Plus profile for more.