There are a lot of people who enjoy using a credit card. Even though it is important to make sure you pay the balance in full every month to avoid getting crushed by credit card interest, credit cards are a great way for you to build credit. They are also a great way for you to rack up rewards that you can redeem for plane flights, hotel rooms, gift cards, and numerous other rewards. At the same time, you need to pay very close attention to your credit card statement to make sure someone is not stealing your credit card information. What should you do if you notice unexpected charges on your credit card?
How People Steal Credit Card Information
First, let’s review how people actually steal someone else’s credit card information. Sometimes, it is very simple. When you have your credit card out, someone might be looking at your shoulder, memorizing the digits. Typically, they need to know your zip code and security code as well, which can make this a bit of a challenge, but the security code is sometimes on the same side as the rest of the numbers.
There are also situations where your credit card information might be stolen by something called a skimmer. This is something that people place on a credit card reader that steals the magnetic information from the credit card. Then, they might use this information to charge things to your card, causing you to pay more than you expected.
What To Do Next
So, if this happens to you, what do you need to do next? The first thing you need to do is call the credit card company and let them know that you think your credit card information has been stolen. They will cancel the credit card immediately, preventing people from charging anything else to the card. Then, they will ask you to take a look at the statement and tell them what charges are illegitimate. You will mark the statement transactions accordingly, and they will conduct a full investigation. Once they realize that someone else has been charging stuff to your card, they will refuse to pay the charges, notify the authorities, and issue a refund on your statement. That way, you do not have to pay charges that you did not put on the card.
You Should Not Be Liable for Unexpected Charges
Ultimately, the credit card company should have your back, as they do not want to lose your business and they do not want to pay for charges that are illegitimate either. It is the responsibility of the merchant to make sure you are who you say you are. If the merchant does not verify your identity before charging the card, they will not be paid for their services. In addition to the credit card rewards, fraud protection is an important benefit of using a credit card. Make sure you do not pay for charges that you did not place on the card yourself.