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Credit Card Fraud

Credit and charge card fraud costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. While theft is the most obvious form of fraud, it can occur in other ways. For example, someone may use your card number without your knowledge. It's not always possible to prevent credit or charge card fraud from happening. But there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for a crook to capture your card or card numbers and minimize the possibility.

Guarding Against Fraud
Here are some tips to help protect you from credit and charge card fraud:

Do:

  • Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
  • Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
  • Keep an eye on your card during a transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
  • Void incorrect receipts.
  • Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
  • Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
  • Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
  • Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
  • Ensure the website is secured and reputable if you purchase items on the Internet with use of a credit card. You can check the security of a website by looking at the URL in the website address bar. A secured website will begin with the following URL heading: https:

Don't:

  • Lend your card(s) to anyone.
  • Leave credit cards in your vehicle while it is unoccupied. These items are highly valued by thieves who burglarize vehicles.
  • Leave credit cards lying around.
  • Sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
  • Write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
  • Give out your account number over the phone unless you're making a call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.

What to do if you are a victim of credit card fraud:

  • Contact the Norman Police Department so that the loss, theft and/or unauthorized use are documented.
  • If you lose your credit or charge cards or if you realize they've been lost or stolen, immediately call the issuer(s). Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies. By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. In any event, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card.
  • A representative of the business that ultimately allowed the unauthorized purchase with your credit card will likely contact you. Be prepared to mail each business a copy of your police report if requested.
  • Most financial institutions and credit card companies will require you to fill out some paperwork. All financial institutions and credit card companies have fraud investigators, and they will forward the appropriate documents to the appropriate law enforcement agency upon completion of their investigation.
  • Although the reported loss or theft of your credit card may be with the Norman Police Department, the investigation into the subsequent use of your stolen credit card may be under the jurisdictional purview of another law enforcement agency. Filing your police report with the Norman Police Department is all that you need to do, unless a law enforcement officer instructs you otherwise.
  • Once you have followed your financial institution’s instructions (filing a police report, completing their forms and/or Affidavit, etc.) they will, normally, reimburse your account. This will make them the victim of the financial loss that resulted after you were initially victimized by having your credit card stolen. If criminal charges are filed on their behalf, you may be endorsed as a witness for prosecution.
  • If, after filing your report, you have reason to name a specific suspect, please call the Records Division at the Norman Police Department (405-321-1600). Request that the suspect information be added to your Offense Report.