Credit Card Frauds have become rampant over the past few decades because of advancements in Technology. Being able to detect fraudulent activities in its early stages, is key to minimizing possible losses. It is very important to sign up for credit card Transaction Alerts because it allows you to monitor your credit card transactions. When you notice your card is being used and notify your credit card provider on time, a temporal suspension will be imposed on your account by the creditor before a new credit card can be issued thus preventing further losses.
What Can Fraudsters do to your Card?
Fraudsters can access your account information without necessarily touching your card. They can then perform unauthorized transactions which might be hard to detect. This happens especially when you have your credit card with you and fail to realized it can be used to make purchases even while in your possession. However, with a real-time credit card transactions notification system, you will be able to monitor and report any suspicious activities happening in your account. Whenever you notice a transaction that you did not initiate, you will have to contact your credit card provider so as to stop any further unauthorized transactions.
Why Credit Monitoring With Bank/Billing Statement is not Enough
Although credit card monitoring with billing statement is a good way to see your account’s activities, it does not offer instant protections because reports come once a month. With this approach, you cannot know of any suspicious activities in your account until you receive the bank statement. This, therefore, gives fraudster enough time to siphon off your savings and damage your credit score. In some cases, bank statements may not show suspicious activities/transactions happening in your account. For example when your data is stolen and used to open a bank account (Identity Theft). I covered this in Opening a Bank Drop which you can read about with the help of this List of Blogs on Fraud Prevention. Credit monitoring services will not alert you of the existence of an account opened in your name by a fraudster. Things may even get worse when your identity is stolen and you are left to figure out on your own.
How to Sign Up for Credit Card Fraud Alerts
As painful as it may be, credit fraud affects both the card provider and the consumer. It is therefore up to credit card issuers to come up with stringent measures to curb cases of credit card frauds. It is important to find out if your card provider has a credit card transactions notification system. This, as you know, is very important in protecting your account by notifying you of every transaction involving your card. You can call the customer service with the number printed at the back of your credit card to inquire if they have a notification system. The common alert options are;
- Transactions that are flagged as suspicious by the credit card provider, and
- Transactions that exceed a set amount that you select (e.g. over $20).
- Transactions from uncommon locations. For example, if you attempt a transaction from more than 80 miles of your normal location, the card provider will probably flag the transaction unless you had called to inform them that you will be travelling.
- Transactions related to uncommon spending habits.
How You will be Notified
Notifications can be received through text message, push notification or email. Different banks offer different options that is why it is important to call them and find out. If your bank offers many options, select the option that will suit you best so that you can act fast in case of you receive a fraud alert.
What to do if you Receive a Fraud Alert
Immediately you receive a fraud alert, contact the card provider. However, be on the lookout because some Fraudsters send spam messages that look like alerts. This is why it is recommended that you do not reply to text messages asking you to click a link or provide some information through text messaging or email. Additionally, it is recommended to not give any information on calls you did not initiate. If you feel uncomfortable, hang up and call the number at the back of your card to verify that the bank actually did contact you.
Final Note to The Reader
Credit card fraud alert will let you know all the account activities. Some of them are;
- available credit balance,
- missed payments,
- overdue payments,
- flagged transactions, and
- all successful transactions.
Note that fraud alerts are just complementary services that card credit providers offer. However, your mobile carrier may charge you for certain services especially the services you initiate. The customer service of your credit card company will give you a clear explanation of available alert options and charges you may incur while using them. Be sure to you check your account regularly especially after buying stuff online or shopping with your card. You can read further about 10 easy ways to protect yourself from credit card frauds.
You are finally at the end of this blog. I am thankful that you made it this far. If you have any questions, you can email or leave a comment and I will try my best to answer. Thank you for reading.