Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is the crime of using a stolen, lost, cancelled, or invalid credit, debit, or prepaid card to purchase goods and services or to otherwise accrue financial profit. The majority of credit card fraud cases occur via the Internet, though credit card fraud can occur in places of business, at the ATM, and other locations. Credit card fraud is part of a large group of financial crimes carried out against consumers in the United States. The government estimates that approximately 25 million Americans become the victims of consumer fraud every year.

The internet has provided criminals the means to carry out identity theft and credit card fraud in ways that have never been possible before. Several government and consumer interest groups are dedicated to preventing credit card fraud. The Federal Trade Commission is a government agency that works to protect consumers against fraud, gathering and handling over half a million fraud complaints annually. The Consumer Sentinel is a consumer advocacy group founded in 1997 that collects credit card fraud and other information from over 100 organizations to compile a comprehensive database available to the public.

Additionally, these groups provide consumers with helpful tips to avoid credit card fraud and provide information and support when consumers become the victims of credit card fraud. These groups advise consumers to do the following to avoid credit card fraud: always be cautious with online transactions; keep copies of receipts to compare with monthly statements; keep a record of your credit card numbers, expiration dates, and the phone number and address of the credit card company in a safe place; report any suspicious transactions or lost/stolen cards immediately, and keep an eye on your card during all face-to-face transactions. These agencies also warn consumers not to: lend their cards to anyone, leave cards or receipts around, or give out account number over the phone unless the company you called is reputable.

If any suspicious activity occurs or your credit card is misplaced, lost, or stolen it is important to immediately report the problem to the credit card company. Many credit card companies provide liability protection against losses from credit card fraud. In many cases, unfortunately, credit card fraud can cause a tremendous amount of damage before the problem becomes known. Federal and state agencies have been established to collect and handle credit card fraud complaints. While extremely helpful, these agencies are often not able to fully protect a consumer for losses suffered because of credit card fraud.

A qualified and experienced attorney can be a credit card fraud victim's best advocate. When you have experienced the devastation of credit card fraud, an attorney can protect and maximize your legal interests, and work aggressively to help you recover what you have lost. If you would like to learn more about credit card fraud, please contact us to speak with a reputable attorney in your area.

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