Tuesday, June 11, 2024

How To File Credit Card Fraud With Police

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What Is Fraud What Isnt

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At its basic level, fraud is any transaction thats not authorized by the cardholder, says Matt Freeman, head of credit card products at Navy Federal Credit Union.

An important second element, says David Pollino, senior vice president and deputy chief security officer at Bank of the West, is that the charges must not benefit you.

In other words, if your spouse went into your wallet without your knowledge and used your credit card to pay the phone bill, thats not reportable. It may be unauthorized, but you were receiving a benefit, so it isnt fraud, says Pollino.

Other cases of mistaken fraud include when consumers dont remember or dont realize that they authorized a purchase, says Eileen Grogan, assistant vice president of payment solutions at Affinity Federal Credit Union.

People think theyre signing up for a free trial of something, but embedded in the terms and conditions is a recurring order of an item, she says. In such cases, you will have to fight with the merchant directly, unless the merchant makes it extremely difficult to cancel, which is when youd call your card issuer for help.

Finally, before you jump to fraud conclusions, be aware that merchant names sometimes appear differently on your statement. If youre not sure about a transaction, Grogan suggests looking for the phone number listed under the merchant name on your statement. A quick call to that number can often help jog your memory , she says.

Immediate Steps To Take

  • File a report with the police/sheriff in the jurisdiction in which you live and get a copy of the report for the credit reporting agencies, banks and credit card companies. You can file the report at the police station or file online.
  • In Denver, you can file at www.denvergov.org/policereport.
  • You can also complete the ID Theft Affidavit provided by the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
  • Cancel each credit, ATM, debit card. Promptly report lost or stolen credit, ATM and debit cards to the issuing bank within 60 days of your monthly statement to limit your liability for unauthorized charges or withdrawals. If reported within 60 days, your liability under federal law for unauthorized charges on these cards may range from $0 to $50, but possibly up to $500, depending upon the type of card, length of time taken in reporting the loss or theft, and the issuing bank. If the loss is reported beyond 60 days of the monthly statement you may be liable for more unauthorized charges or withdrawals from your ATM or debit cards. Beware of callers selling credit card protectionyou dont need this as long as you monitor your credit card statements for evidence of fraudulent activity.
  • Contact your financial institution and cancel all accounts and PIN numbers. Stop payments on outstanding checks.
    • Consider placing a Security Freeze or Fraud Alert on/in your credit reports. See below.

    If Your Debit Card Or Number Is Stolen

    A debit card is an ATM card with a credit card logo on it. It accesses money directly from your bank account, and the legal protections are different from those for credit cards. If your debit card is compromised, call your bank right away and cancel the card. The bank will send you a new debit card and your checking account number will not change. The stolen money, however, will be gone while your bank investigates the matter. If you call the bank within two business days of the fraudulent transaction, your liability is limited to only $50. As time goes by, your liability for fraudulent transactions increases. If you wait more than 60 business days from the date the bank mailed the statement with the fraudulent transaction, you could lose the entire amount of the fraud.

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    What To Do Next

    Keep copies of all reports you file, both with the police and with the FTC, as they may be needed again to combat new or reappearing fraudulent charges. You may want to provide copies to the credit reporting bureaus as part of your fraud alert file.


    • If you’ve experienced fraud, your first step is to protect your finances by putting a fraud alert on your credit report and freezing or closing your bank accounts and credit cards. You can freeze your account by contacting your bank. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact one of the three credit reporting companies â Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. After you’ve secured your accounts and credit, report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission, then file a police report.


    Reporting Internet Banking Fraud

    4 Ways to Report Credit Card Fraud

    If you receive an email asking for your bank account details, report it to the ACSC.

    If you are the victim of internet banking fraud, report it to your financial institution and find out about their process for investigating the incident. Once the financial institution clears you of any involvement, generally under the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct they will reimburse your bank account. Under Victorian law, the financial institution is the victim of the criminal offence not you. The responsibility for reporting the crime is therefore with the financial institution.

    If you also report to ACSC, this will give Australian law enforcement a national picture of the overall cybercrime issue and will assist in reducing the incidence of cybercrime.

    For more information on unauthorised and mistaken transactions visit www.moneysmart.gov.au

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    What To Do If Youre A Victim Of Debit Card Fraud

    If you think youre a victim of debit card fraud:

    • write down what happened and how you first noticed the fraud
    • contact your financial institution to tell them about the fraud
    • take note of who you talked to and when you spoke to them
    • keep all documents that you think might be helpful when the police investigate the fraud
    • contact your local police service to file a complaint
    • contact other accounts that could be tampered with

    Here’s What You’ll Need To Provide To The Ftc

  • Full legal name.
  • Current address and how long youâve lived there.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • As you fill in the required fields about the incident, the FTC’s online tool generates a personalized recovery plan with tips explaining what to do next and how to take action.

    For example, you can download forms and dispute letters to send to credit bureaus and your other financial institutions to help clear your name. You may also need to report the identity fraud to another government department, such as your local attorney generalâs office.

    Once you complete your affidavit, print out the report and keep a copy for your records. Youâll need this in order to report the crime to your credit card companies and other financial institutions. If you choose to file a police report, theyâll ask you for a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report.

    While the FTC encourages identity theft victims to file an online report, you can also file a report over the phone. Simply call the FTC Consumer Response Center at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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    What To Do If Youre A Victim Of Credit Card Fraud

    Contact your financial institution immediately if your credit card is lost or stolen. Contact it if you find payments on your credit card statement that you didnt make or approve.

    If you think youre a victim of credit card fraud:

    • write down what happened and how you first noticed the fraud
    • contact your credit card issuer to tell them about the fraud
    • take notes of who you talked to and when you spoke to them
    • keep all documents that you think might be helpful when the police investigate the fraud
    • contact your local police service to file a complaint
    • contact other accounts that could be tampered with by the person

    When To File A Police Report

    Fishers police investigate credit card fraud

    Where things get more complicated is if you actually know the person who used your card without permission.

    Primarily, filing a police report is necessary only if you know the perpetrator, says Freeman. If you lost your card or transactions are happening across the globe, a local police report wont be very effective, he says. Of course, when so-called familiar fraud takes place, especially with family members, sometimes people dont want to take that step to allege a crime has been committed, says Freeman.

    There are times when the merchant will produce evidence that an item was indeed ordered and the product was shipped to another family member who made the purchase, says Grogan. In those cases, it may be necessary to file a police report, but she says, many consumers tend to drop the matter at that point, choosing not to alert authorities.

    Another time a police report might be required is if the amount of the fraudulent charges is significant, says Pollino, but each financial institution has its own policy. If this extra step is needed, the bank will guide you through the process.

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    Reporting To Government Agencies

    If your identity is stolen, you may need to request new or updated documentation with different government agencies.

    • If you believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your personal information, use our secure fraud reporting form to alert us or call the DUA customer service department at .

    • Registry of Motor Vehicles Request a new license if yours was lost or stolen
    • Social Security Administration: Request a replacement card if your Social Security card was lost or stolen. Under certain circumstances you might need to request a new Social Security number.
    • United States Postal Inspection Service: Notify the U.S. Postal Inspection Service if you think an identity thief has filed a change of address with the post office. Contact your local postmaster to make sure that all mail in your name comes to your address.
    • The State Departments Bureau of Consular Affairs: If your passport was stolen, complete this online form to report the loss or theft and replace your passport.

    If Your Driver’s License Or Dmv

    Immediately contact your local DMV office to report the theft. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your license. Then call the toll-free DMV Fraud Hotline at 1-866-658-5758. If the thief is using your license as ID, you may want to change your license number. Ask DMV for an appointment. Take a copy of the police report and copies of bills or other items supporting your claim of fraud. You will also need to prove your identity. Take current documents such as a passport, a certification of citizenship or naturalization, or a U.S. military photo ID. DMV will issue a new license or ID card number when you meet all the requirements.

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    Tips To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

    Remember these tips when using your credit card in public places or at places of business:

    • keep your credit card in a safe place
    • limit the number of credit cards you carry with you
    • cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN so no one can see it
    • keep your credit card in sight at all times when making a purchase
    • report anything you think is suspicious about a credit card device at a business or ATM to the businesss head office and your credit card issuer

    At home

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud at home by doing the following:

    • lock your mailbox if you can to prevent someone from stealing your credit card statements or replacement cards
    • sign the back of a new credit card immediately after you get it
    • destroy old credit cards that are no longer valid by cutting them up
    • keep your credit card statements in a safe place
    • shred credit card statements when you no longer need them


    When banking or shopping online, look for websites with addresses starting with https or ones that have a padlock image on the address bar. These are signs that your information will be secure.

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud online by also doing the following:

    Over the telephone

    Legitimate credit card companies dont ask for personal information over the phone. Use the telephone number found on the back of your card when you want to contact your credit card issuer.

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud when on the telephone by also doing the following:

    In general

    Is There A Difference Between Credit Card Fraud And Identity Theft

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    While Identity thieves use your personal information to gain access to much more than a credit card account.

    That being said, credit card fraud and identity theft see about the same amount of activity across the nation.

    Once an identity thief gets your social security number, address, and driver’s license information, they can do a bit more damage to your credit history. In either case, you are going to need to involve the local police in the matter.

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    What You Should Know About Reporting Your Credit Card Fraud To Police

    If your identity has been stolen or your credit card has been hacked, you definitely need to report these instances to your local police department. But in order to do that, there are a couple of things you need to do first to keep from making extra trips back and forth to the police station.

    The first thing you need to do is to file a credit card fraud affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission. This affidavit will serve as an official written statement of the credit card fraud issue, and you will copy this document for the police report and the report you will file with the credit bureaus.

    Your credit card issuer will send you an affidavit of credit card fraud, or to save time, you can get one directly from the FTC, just download, print as many copies as you need, and fill them out accordingly. Be sure you

    • Sign and date in the presence of a notary or law enforcement.
    • Do not leave any information out. Make sure every numbered item on the affidavit has been addressed.
    • Be as detailed as possible about the specific incident you are reporting. Leave nothing to chance, and even the most minute detail can be beneficial.

    Now your credit card fraud affidavit is complete, and you can now involve local law enforcement.

    Shopping And Auction Site Fraud

    Many people use the Internet to buy things through online shops or auctions. With some simple precautions, this can be a safe and convenient way to shop.

    When you buy something from an Internet auction site, you are purchasing from an individual or company, not the auction house. Once the bidding has finished, negotiations about payment and delivery take place between the purchaser and seller. Regarding online transactions, it is advisable to select an escrow service yourself rather than accept advice from the seller. Do not click on links to banking or escrow services provided in emails as these may lead to fraudulent sites.

    The auction house will usually adopt a policy of not taking legal responsibility for any loss that is suffered from using their service. Goods bought at auction are not covered by statutory warranties under the Trade Practices Act. The sellers only obligation is to give clear title.

    It is therefore important to take care when using online auction sites. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provides useful advice for using online auction sites or conducting transactions over the internet.

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    Protecting Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

    The growing prevalence of credit card fraud means there’s no surefire way to avoid becoming a victim, but common-sense precautions can help you avoid it:

    • Guard your wallet or purse carefully when you’re out and about, and don’t leave credit cards unattended.
    • Keep credit cards you don’t use in a safe place at home, instead of carrying them with you, and never carry your Social Security card unless you must , and put it back in safekeeping when you’re done using it.
    • When shopping online, make sure the website is secure , and skip the option of storing your card number at the website.
    • If asked to provide a credit card number, Social Security number or other personal information over the phone, verify you are talking to a person or company you trust. If the request comes from someone who called you, ask yourself if the organization they claim to represent should already have the information they seek. If in doubt, insist on calling them back and use a verifiable number.
    • Take a look at the Experian Fraud FAQ and Fraud Alert Center for more information and tips on protecting yourself from credit card fraud. Experian will offer support by providing a free copy of your credit report, investigating disputed credit report information, and if fraud is verified, remove the information from your credit report.

    Check Your Credit Reports

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    Its important to check your credit report regularly. Federal law allows you to obtain one free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion each year. But because of the pandemic you can receive one free credit report each week.

    You can order the report at AnnualCreditReport.com, complete the Annual Credit Report request form, or call 1-877-322-8228.

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    Are Your Cards Protected Against Fraudulent Charges When Youre Traveling Internationally

    As a credit card holder, you have protection from fraudulent purchases. But what happens if you travel overseas? Are you covered by the same fraud liability protections that credit card companies routinely provide to cardholders in the U.S. while abroad?

    The good news? You are. The liability protection that credit card providers offer is tied to consumers credit cards, not to their location.

    These are a few steps you can take before traveling to prevent fraudulent charges, and/or if you notice a suspicious charge or activity on your card while overseas:

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