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The odds that you’ll discover a phony credit card charge are on the rise, as is the likelihood of the suspect transaction arising from an online purchase. Last year, online credit card fraud jumped by 40 percent, which experts attribute in large part to the adoption of chip cards in the U.S. By thwarting in-person fraud, that development has encouraged more scam artists to instead commit their crimes online.
If you find a suspicious transaction, don’t panic. Fortunately for you, credit card companies largely shoulder the financial burden of unauthorized credit card charges. By law, you’re only on the hook for $50, and it’s unlikely you’ll even be dinged for that much.
Now you’ve relaxed a little, it’s time to take action. Here are five steps to protect your personal finances from further damage once you find a bogus charge.
Let Your Issuer Know—And Fast
If you find a peculiar transaction, call your credit card issuer right away to report it—that’s if your issuer didn’t alert you first. Your issuer will ask you to verify the most recent transactions to make sure no other suspicious activity was recorded.
Your issuer will close your current credit card and issue another one with a new number within days. If your account has any authorized users on it, the issuer may also send them new cards, too. Confirm that the new card is linked to the payment history of the old card account, so they appear as one on your credit history. And don’t forget to update any recurring bills with the new card number.
Consider Reporting The Incident To The Credit Bureaus
It’s additional work, but in certain circumstances, such as a rash of incidents on your cards in a short time, you may want to contact the three major credit-reporting agencies—Experian,…