Early detection of credit card fraud is the key to minimizing the damage that a thief can do to your account. If your credit card is lost or stolen, you might miss credit card alerting you that you need to contact your credit card company. Your creditor can cancel your account and issue a new credit card with a new account number to prevent fraudulent costs from being charged to your account.
These days thieves can steal your credit card details without ever touching your physical credit card, and still have fraudulent charges on your account. Those costs are harder to detect because your credit card will never be missing. Getting real-time fraud alerts from your credit card company would notify you of suspicious activity on your account and give you the option to contact your credit card company to stop further unauthorized access.
Why Plain Credit Monitoring is not enough
You may already have signed up credit monitoring service that tells you when your credit report has changed. However, this type of supervision does not allow you to respond quickly enough to credit card fraud. That’s because credit monitoring only alerts you when suspicious account activity gives up on your credit report, which might not last for a few days or even weeks. This delay in the notification makes it difficult to catch the fraud before it gets out of hand.
Plus, credit monitoring only warns you about changes to your credit report, such as raising a credit card balance. This high-level reporting may not be sufficient to let you know when your credit card account has been compromised.
How to Create Credit Card Fraud Alerts
Credit card fraud hurts credit card issuers so much – maybe even more – than it does the consumer. It only makes sense that credit card issuers would offer more services to help cardholders track and report credit card fraud.
To find out if your credit card company offers fraud alerts, sign up your credit card online account or call your credit card with customer service (via the number on the back of your credit card). You must follow these steps with each of your credit card issuers.
Every credit card company is different. Once you are logged in to your account, look in the menu for a place to edit your profile or account settings. Then see the reports of fraud with your credit card company offers.
You may be able to receive notifications via email, SMS or via a push notification at the top of your cell phone via the card issuer smartphone app.
Your credit card company will probably give you a few options for receiving alerts. You may consider the option to receive alerts to the transactions of the credit card company suspicious. Or, you may receive alerts for transactions above a certain amount that you self-select, $ 10 for example. Choosing to receive alerts based on a minimum transaction amount will not allow you to catch fraudulent transactions with your credit card company. Your credit card company can only detect fraud based on your normal spending pattern. You know for sure if a transaction is fraudulent, because you are the one with your credit card.
What to do if you receive a Fraud Alert Notification
If you receive a fraud alert from your credit card company, log into your online account or call the number on the bank of your credit card to contact a customer service representative to confirm or deny the allegations. Do not give any personal or credit card information via SMS. Do not click on the links in the text message. And do not call your customer service card via any digits specified in the text message. This is important in case the text message is a phishing scammer trying to get your personal information or credit card details.
Credit card fraud is a free service offered by your credit card company. You will not be charged any extra for the warnings. However, you are subject to a text message cost or data cost from your cell phone carrier.
In addition to fraud alerts, your credit card company may be able to provide you with alerts for other types of account activities including: balance notifications, due date, available credit, or missed payment. These notifications can help you manage your credit card account more efficiently.
Of course, you must continue to monitor your credit card activities by logging into your account regularly between billed and transactional reviews. You can never be careful enough.