It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s time to pay for something, maybe a pint of soya milk or a Daniel O’ Donnell calendar (2014, already on the shelves) and, what’s this? Your credit card is gone. Some mendacious shyster has stolen your credit card, membership of the Wobblies and a picture of Hollywood heartthrob and decorated academic James Franco and you’re left looking shame-faced. Terror grips your heart like a vice. Not only will that wee Daniel calendar have to wait, but you’re financial future is at stake. What if someone goes on a spending spree with your credit card? Will you have to foot the bill? What are your rights?
The good news is that when it comes to credit cards you should be covered. Whether it’s a case of someone actually stealing your card, or stealing your details (otherwise known as identity theft, which can be even scarier) there are procedures in place to ensure you don’t wind up financially and emotionally crippled.
So there are two definite rules in place. Let’s look at identity theft first, where someone steals your details but your card is still in your possession. In this case you will not have to pay for anything bought without your permission. In the second case – your card has been stolen – the most you will have to pay is $50, unless it can be proved that you behaved without reasonable care. This means that you haven’t done something silly, like attaching your PIN number to your card or writing “steal me” across the front of the card and dangling it from your back pocket.
Of course, you still have to do a few things to ensure that you don’t get defrauded. It probably goes without saying but you should contact your credit card company as soon as you notice something odd. Keep a record of all conversations with the company and any correspondence you receive. You should also report what’s happened to the police.
There are plenty of simple but effective things you can do to ensure that credit card fraud is kept to a minimum. These include:
- Never disclosing your card details to anyone
- Shielding your pin at cash machines
- Using your personal computer, when shopping online
- Never writing down your PIN, passwords or other details
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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.