Have you had fraud on your credit card? Here’s what you should know!

Recently I had a fraud attempt on my credit card. The bank tried to call me at 8am that morning, after the two attempted transactions took place less than two hours earlier. One attempt was made from the U.K and then the next one, minutes later, was apparently made from the U.S.A. The Bank advised that they had cancelled my credit card, as the transactions were considered considerably different from my usual purchases. I was relieved but then the ramifications of not having my credit card began to unfold….

What you should know about credit card fraud and do right now!

1. You Now Have No Credit Card Or Access To Linked Accounts.

I only carried my credit card, which I also used to access my other accounts. Now that my credit card was cancelled, it meant I no longer could access my other accounts, despite being different account types of “cheque” and “savings”.

DO NOW: Make sure you have some form of back up. Get a separate ATM card from your bank and keep it for such emergencies. I had a separate credit card from a different bank, which was lucky, but if I urgently needed cash I would have had to do a cash withdrawal (called a cash advance), which you get slugged hefty fees for.

2. Your New Credit Card Can Take Up To 5 – 7 days to be received.

The Bank is as fast as possible, but my replacement card took 7 business days to arrive. The new pin number then took another 4 days after that. During this time I knew I had some direct debits due to come out, but wasn’t that organized to know exactly what payments were to be debited.

DO NOW: Pull out your past years worth of credit card statements, look up every type of direct debit you have and record them somewhere. Take the time to write down the contact numbers and policy numbers as well, so that if this situation does happen, you can sit down and work your way through the list confidently. Each institution is different, some you have to update yourself online, and some will do it over the phone. The most important thing is that you just don’t miss any payments.

3. Know That It’s Your Responsibility Entirely.

The Banks advice is “When you are provided a new credit card account with a new account number and expiry date you will need to advise all service providers of your new card details to ensure that regular payments (direct debits) to your service providers continue.” So there is no point playing the “poor me” card as this type of fraud happens daily. Get on top of everything, because otherwise your credit report will be negatively affected.

DO NOW: You need to understand everything about your credit report and what gets listed on it. Recently Australia changed its credit reporting system to be comprehensive. In a nutshell, it means that your credit file can now show if you reliably pay bills on time. Consequently if you miss payments, and take more than 5 days to pay it, then this will be recorded as a late payment (often referred to as a black mark) on your credit report. If you can keep your credit record clean (with no black marks) your chances of being approved for credit in future will be enhanced. Yes, it is very frustrating having your credit card cancelled, but do yourself a favour and be prepared for it, as credit card fraud sadly is here to stay.

credit card fraud

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It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:
For more information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor.

Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan.
If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink.

The Australian Government’s MoneySmart Website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.