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Presentation on theme: "Credit Card Fraud PRESENTED BY THE VIRGINIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL June 2013."— Presentation transcript:


2 Overview of Topics Recognizing types of Credit Card Fraud Protecting yourself from fraud Steps to take when fraud strikes Resources & referrals

3 Credit Card Fraud Unauthorized charges to your credit card Counterfeit cards Skimming information in the restaurant Stealing from the mail box Cramming

4 Credit card fraud can occur when cards are lost or stolen mail is diverted by criminals employees of a business steal customer information –Whenever possible keep your credit card in sight at the restaurant or store – thieves use skimmers to steal your information –If they are using an old style scanner, make sure you account for all the copies

5 Why does credit card fraud matter? The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 10 million people are victimized by credit card theft each year Credit card companies lose close to $50 billion dollars per year because of fraud These costs “trickle down” in higher interest rates and fees for all consumers

6 The bottom line... All cardholders pay for credit card fraud losses –Victims spend time and money to repair the damage –Credit card issuers charge higher fees and interest rates to cover their losses

7 ID Theft Identity theft is the use of someone’s personal information, such as their Social Security number or date of birth, to commit financial fraud

8 ID thieves harm victims by: using their names and other personal information to open new credit accounts accessing existing credit and bank accounts to make unauthorized purchases Victims of ID theft are not held liable for losses, but it takes time and effort for victims to prove fraud and clean up the chaos

9 Forms of Fraud Dumpster Diving –Stealing credit card information from discarded receipts or account statements in people’s trash –Shred unwanted documents that contain Social Security numbers, bank and credit card information and other sensitive financial information

10 Skimming When dishonest employees make illegal copies of credit or debit cards using a “skimmer” device that captures credit card numbers and other account information –The stolen credit information is used to make purchases by phone and internet, or to make counterfeit cards

11 Phishing Phishing is a financial crime that starts with massive numbers of deceptive spam e- mails –These e-mails look like they come from your bank –But they are just a trick to get account numbers and passwords

12 Security Codes Credit card companies use security codes to help prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use by phone and online –These numbers help ensure that you have the card — not just the account number Merchants are prohibited from keeping or storing any security codes after transactions are completed

13 Security Codes Security codes for Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are the 3 digits located on the back of the card in the signature box. Security codes for American Express are 4 digits long, printed on the front of the card above the right side of the main credit card number.

14 New Cards For added protection, credit card issuers ask you to call from home to activate new credit cards As soon as you receive your new card, sign the back of it with a permanent black ink pen

15 Should you write “Ask for ID”? Writing “Ask for ID” in the signature space may not be a good idea as your transactions might not go through if the card isn’t signed Consider signing your card and also writing “Ask for ID”

16 In case your card is lost or stolen Record all your account numbers and company contact information and keep the record in a secure place That way you can easily find whom to call to report the loss

17 Protect your PIN Never write down your personal identification number (PIN) Never give your PIN to anyone

18 Protect your account numbers Never write your credit card number on post cards or on the outside of envelopes Never provide your card number on the phone, unless you know it’s a legitimate, reputable business Never give your account number to anyone who calls you on the phone or sends you an e- mail If you let others use your card, you are responsible for charges

19 Billing Statements Review credit card statements closely on the day they arrive –Report any questionable charges to your card issuer immediately A missing credit card statement may indicate stolen mail –Contact your card issuer right away if your bill doesn’t arrive around the usual date

20 Online account access If you have a computer, consider signing up for online account access This way you can track your account activity between statements

21 Liability Fraud victims are not generally required to pay for unauthorized charges Victims may be liable for up to $50 of the loss, depending on the circumstances

22 Protect your wallet or purse Keep a close eye on your belongings Never carry all your credit cards Bring only the 1 or 2 cards you might need Carry your credit cards separate from your wallet If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, call your credit card issuers immediately

23 Watch your credit card Watch closely when store or restaurant employees handle your card to make sure they are not copying or “Skimming” your credit card number After you make a purchase and your card is handed back to you, make sure the card is yours. Watch out for shoulder surfers at the ATM – they are trying to steal your card number and pin

24 Take precautions Notify your credit card company if you are going to be traveling away from home to prevent any inconvenience if your issuer should block your account from being used in a different city Notify your credit card company if you are going to make any unusually large purchases so that your account is not flagged for possible fraud

25 Safeguard your mail Notify the post office and your credit card company immediately if you change your address Lock your mailbox. Never leave mail in an unlocked mail box or apartment building lobby Put your return address on out-going mail Shred unwanted credit card solicitations before discarding

26 Internet Safeguards If you bank online, don’t use “automatic sign on” for bank or credit card sites Avoid providing your credit card number to websites offering “free access” Install a firewall in your computer to prevent unauthorized access from hackers

27 Reporting credit card fraud To report credit card fraud –Call your card company immediately about Lost or stolen cards or PIN numbers Unauthorized charges on your statement –Request a fraud affidavit –Get a police report if necessary

28 The Fair Credit Billing Act is a federal law that gives you the right to resolve billing errors, including unauthorized charges –If something goes wrong, you have the right to dispute the charge –To dispute billing errors on your statement, contact your card issuer within 60 days from the statement date or you lose your right to file a dispute Note: There is no time limit for reporting fraudulent charges.

29 Disputing charges Always dispute billing errors in writing. You can call your card company and follow up with a letter. –Describe the dispute in a few sentences –Send it to the correct address for billing disputes –Do not include your dispute letter with your bill payment

30 Helpful resources to know about

31 Free Credit Reports Online: Phone: 1-877-322-8228 By mail: Annual Credit Report P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 

32 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) The FTC offers free publications on credit cards, billing rights and how to avoid credit card fraud

33 The National Fraud Information Center The National Fraud Information Center, a project of the National Consumers League, offers advice and prevention tips 1-800-867-7060

34 Your State Attorney General’s Office The National Association of Attorneys General web site Call the Virginia Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-552-9963 or visit us online at

35 Questions and Answers youmefamilyfriendsstrangers We are all in this together


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