How to Track the Misuse of Your Credit Cards
With more and more people using credit cards rather than cash, it has become easier for fraudster to commit identity theft and financial fraud. Most of the cardholders do not realize that they are carrying sensitive financial credit card account information on them and are exposing that sensitive account information every time they make a purchase. Everyone trusts the merchant employees with this information, but in reality they a just people with low paying jobs looking to make extra money. Not all of them are trustworthy; many of them will make a copy of your personal credit card information and sell it on the online black market. Stealing credit card information is a low risk highly profitable business to for merchant thieves to operate in because the FBI, card brands and issuing banks have a difficult time tracking these fraudsters and when someone reports one to them they will not investigate unless there is at least $100,000.00 worth of stolen credit card information. One reported incident generally equates to under $10,000.00 and is looked at as single lost or stolen credit card incident.
Most of the time the cardholder doesn’t discover that his card is stolen until months after the fraudster steals it because the fraudster will often keep the stolen information for over a month so it is difficult to detect where the card was stolen before the fraudster attempts to sell the credit card information. The victim will not discover the misuse of his credit card untill he checks his credit card statement. By than it is too late, many cardholders fail to take any preventive action and rely on re-active credit card theft monitoring services. So it has became essential to mask your card to prevent credit card theft in the first place and then explore the options available to track the credit card frauds constantly as a part of your credit card protection strategy. However, if you choose not to use a credit card mask to prevent credit card theft than you can follow these re-active steps to minimize the financial loss associated with credit card frauds and scams:
Thoroughly Read Your Credit Card Statement: Many people do not pay due attention to their credit card statements. But a thorough reading of credit card statement will make it easier for you to identify the suspicious and unauthorized transactions. While reading the statement, you must concentrate on multiple payments made to a single vendor, any mismatch between the purchase receipt and credit card figure, and any transaction that you fail to remember. Any such questionable transaction must be reported to your card company without causing any delay
Request for Credit Report: As per the legal requirements, each credit bureau is required to provide its members with credit reports on a yearly basis. You also have options to place mailing request for the credit report with each credit bureau. Similarly, you can even consider placing online request through the credit bureau website to receive your credit report for a specific year. After receiving the credit report, you must read it thoroughly to make sure that no unauthorized bank account is opened in your name.
Place Credit Card Fraud Alerts: The credit bureaus also constantly monitor the credit card transactions to identify the frauds and scams. Each cardholder has options to place credit card fraud alerts with the credit bureaus by making phone calls. Once the fraud alerts are activated, no other person can use for identity to open checking bank account, taking loans and issuing new credit cards. The alerts will further be effective in providing strong security coverage to your existing bank accounts and credit cards.
Immediately Block the Lost Credit Cards: In addition to these measures, you can even consider using specially designed accessories like credit card mask to hide your card number. These masks can further be customized using your company name and logo to minimize the chances of credit card misuse and frauds. However, you must report the credit card lost or theft without causing any slight delay. Also, the credit card loss or theft must be shared with the issuer to completely block the card to prevent all types of misuse and frauds.