Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud
November 30, 2022 Ridgedale Marketing


Credit Card Fraud: Protect yourself this holiday season and beyond. In this article, you will find out how it works and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Credit Card Fraud

Find out how it works and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.


Credit card fraud can be a nightmare for any individual or business. It is the most common type of identity theft. With an estimated 1.5 billion credit cards in the US alone, it is no surprise that millions of people fall victim every year. Dealing with credit card fraud can cost you a great deal of time and aggravation. The key to minimizing the damage is to detect it early and act immediately. Adopting smart habits and taking advantage of resources from your credit union and sites like Experian, government agencies and others can help.


How credit card fraud works

  • Lost or stolen cards

Criminals can obtain credit cards by either finding them after they have become lost or stealing them from someone’s possession. The thief may use your card for purchases.

  • Card-not-present fraud

Without the physical card, they will obtain basic details, such as the account holder’s name, the credit card number, and the expiration date. With this info, they can commit fraudulent activity by mail, via the phone, or online.

  • Counterfeit, doctored or faked cards – getting the info without your card

Devices known as skimmers can illegally obtain credit card details. These machines capture information from the credit card’s magnetic strip, which the criminal can then encode into a counterfeited, faked, or doctored card. It might be hard to detect the difference between a regular card reader or ATM and one with a skimmer attached to it. Make sure you feel the card reader to see if it’s loose or abnormal, just in case.

  • Application fraud

Rather than stealing existing credit card details, a criminal may instead apply for new credit in someone else’s name. They do this by using the victim’s personal information, such as their full name, date of birth, address and Social Security Number.

  • Account takeover

After gaining personal information, a fraudster can then contact their credit card company and pretend to be the account holder by presenting information like previous purchases, passwords and card details. This is sometimes referred to as ‘social engineering.’  They will do this to register a change of address and then report the card as lost or stolen to get a new card sent out through the mail.

  • Intercepting cards in the mail

If a credit card company sends out a new or replacement card via post, then a criminal may be able to intercept the package or steal it from the account holder’s mailbox. Therefore, most card issuers will use unmarked letters and packaging when sending cards.


 How to Identify Credit Card Fraud

 The most effective way to protect yourself from credit card fraud is by taking preventative measures wherever possible. Keep your credit card secure and only enter your card details on reputable online stores. Never share them with sources you can’t verify over the phone. But even if you take all the necessary steps to avoid becoming a target of fraud, remain vigilant by regularly checking for any suspicious activity. You can detect fraud by:

  • Reviewing monthly credit card statements to identify any unauthorized transactions.
  • Regularly checking your credit report to see if anything appears unfamiliar, such as new credit searches and inquiries, the opening of new accounts, or the registration of unknown addresses.
  • Reviewing bills and invoices to ensure you are not receiving correspondence and collection notices for unfamiliar accounts. You can also use your credit report to check if you are on any collection agencies’ lists, as most report debts to credit bureaus.
  • Your Ridgedale FCU cards provide even more protection.
    • On your Visa Credit OR Debit card, if we suspect a fraudulent transaction, we send a text, voicemail, or an email to validate the transaction. It is important that we have your up-to-date contact information so that we can reach you. If you receive an email, text or phone call questioning a purchase, please respond.
    • On your Visa Credit Card:
  • Lock or unlock your card as needed via online banking
  • Set travel alerts via online banking
  • ID Navigator Powered by LifeLock: Go to to register  your card.  This benefit provides:
    • Dark web Monitoring
    • Data Breach Notifications
    • Stolen Wallet Assist

What to do if you become a victim of Credit Card Fraud


Regardless of the extent of the charges accrued by criminals, U.S. federal law limits the account holder’s liability to just $50. Many credit card companies waive these charges altogether with zero liability policies.  The account holder will incur no charges if the credit card is reported stolen before any unauthorized transactions occur. This means that victims can get their money back, but to do so, they need to take the necessary steps to report credit card fraud and secure their credit account.

  •  Contact the credit card company immediately

 Make the call as soon as you notice anything suspicious, or you realize that your card has been lost or stolen. Your credit card provider will then launch an investigation to verify the fraudulent activity and remove any unauthorized transactions. Compromised cards will be cancelled to halt criminal activity, and you will be issued a new card and account number to reinstate secure access to your account and funds.


  • Update your security details

Change any PINs, online passwords, or security information that you believe may have become compromised.


  • Get in touch with a credit bureau for another layer of protection

Contact one of the major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax or TransUnion — to set up a fraud alert and/or a credit freeze, which makes it harder for anyone to change the details of your accounts or to open new accounts. With a fraud alert, you have to alert only one of the 3 major credit bureaus —Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®—and it will alert the other two. With a freeze, you have to contact each one of the three yourself.


Credit card fraud can be avoided. Be vigilant and avoid the nightmare.