What to do if you find unauthorised transactions on your card

Discovering unauthorised transactions on your credit or debit card can often be a shock. Whether it’s a fraudulent purchase, a recurring charge you didn’t approve, or suspicious activity that you don’t recognise, it’s important to act fast to protect yourself. 

Here’s what to do if you find unauthorised transactions on your card.

1. Review your transactions 

While discovering strange transactions can be alarming, it’s important to remain calm and approach the situation with a clear mind. Panicking may cloud your judgment and delay taking necessary actions to address the issue promptly.

Instead, carefully review your recent transactions to identify any suspicious activity. Check your bank or credit card statements online or through your mobile banking app to see if there are any transactions that you don’t recognise.

2. Contact your bank or credit card issuer

If you identify unauthorised transactions on your card, contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately to report the fraudulent activity. Most financial institutions have dedicated customer service lines for reporting fraud. Inform them of the charges and request that your card be blocked or cancelled to prevent further unapproved use.

3. Dispute the charges

Once you’ve reported the transactions, your bank or credit card issuer will initiate an investigation into the matter. They may ask you to provide details about the charges and any relevant documentation to support your claim. Be prepared to provide information such as the date, time, and amount, as well as any other relevant details.

If you suspect that your card information has been compromised as part of a larger identity theft scheme, consider reporting the incident to the relevant authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or local law enforcement. They can provide guidance on steps to take to protect yourself from further identity theft and fraud.

4. Change your card details

To prevent further unauthorised transactions, your bank or credit card issuer may advise you to change your card details, such as your card number, expiration date, and security code. 

They may issue you a new card with updated information to replace the compromised one. Ensure that you update any recurring payments or accounts linked to your old card with your new card details.

5. Monitor your accounts and credit report 

Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card accounts for any additional unauthorised transactions or suspicious activity. Set up alerts or notifications through your bank’s online banking platform or mobile app to receive real-time updates on account activity. Regularly review your statements and transaction history to detect any more problems promptly.

Additionally, check your credit report for any unusual activity. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com. Review your credit report regularly to spot any signs of identity theft or fraudulent accounts.

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