Identity theft & credit fraud  
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Reporting Credit Card Fraud

If you find yourself in the position of having to report credit card fraud you can rest assured that things will probably turn out all right. This is because the credit card companies are generally pretty lenient when it comes to believing their customers about fraud. They know it is commonplace and that it would be better to keep you as a customer than launch into an investigation of your character or habits. In most cases, all you are liable to pay is a $50 liability fee for the fake charges.

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You also have the law on your side when it comes to reporting credit card theft. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to get a free credit report if you are the victim of identify theft and to place a fraud alert in your file if you discover that it contains inaccurate information as a result of credit card fraud. 

Some states and provinces may have even more laws that could reinforce your position if you are a victim of identity theft and assure you that you won’t have to pay the debt. Contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state attorney general to get more information about this. You can usually find these agencies in the government pages of the phone book.

The Fair Credit Billing Act, a section of the Truth in Lending Act, protects you against inaccurate credit card bills and unauthorized purchase. This is the same law that allows you to withhold payments on defective goods until you are notified of the outcome of your dispute.

To be on the safe side, report the theft to the credit card issuer in writing and make sure your complaint is received within 60 days of when your received the billing statement that confirms that the act of fraud was committed.  Include your name and account number and an explanation of why you believe the charge is incorrect.  

Even while your situation is under review keep in mind that you must pay the portion of your bill that is not in dispute or you could mess up your credit rating with negative marks about delinquency and late payments.

More About Identity Theft

Credit Card Fraud Protection