Credit Cards

What To Do When Your Credit Card Account is Compromised

One of the big pieces of news recently is that the PlayStation Network was hacked. The end result? A large number of people had their personal information compromised. I’m one of them. I had a credit card stored on the PlayStation Network, and I’m a little bit worried that it is compromised. So, what are my options?

Get New Cards

Rather than wait to see what happens, I decided to be proactive. I called the credit card issuer to discuss my options. The issuer was up on the problem, understood my concerns, and agreed that the easiest thing would be to issue me new cards for the account. Everything else about the account will remain the same, and there is no charge for the new cards. This heads off a potential problem before it becomes an issue.

What if You Find Out Too Late?

Of course, you might not find out until it’s too late that someone has been using your credit card fraudulently. You do have a course of action in that case as well. The first thing you need to do is call your credit card issuer and discuss the problem. Let the issuer know which charges are fraudulent, and ask that they be removed.

Then, get a new card issued. Or even close the account, depending on the severity of the problem. Next, you need to contact the major credit bureaus to let them know that you might be dealing with identity theft. You can get a free credit report from each bureau once a year at several sites. You can also pay around $50 or $60 for all three credit reports. Check to see if this fraudulent charge is a sign that someone is doing other things with your good financial name.

You should also report the problem. File a police report (and get a copy of it), even though you may not get satisfaction going that route. You can also file a complaint with the FTC to bolster your case. The fact that you have notified authorities will support your case that the fraudulent charges should be removed, and it will help you if you need to have ID theft taken care of in your credit report.

Bottom Line

You can’t completely protect yourself against fraudulent charges. There is no way to be completely safe from ID theft. However, as soon as you notice something fishy, you need to contact your credit card issuer. The sooner you do, the more likely you will avoid liability for fraudulent charges.

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