Your Fraud Liability

No one ever wants to believe fraud will happen, but unfortunately in this day and age, it seems to be happening more and more. So what’s your liability if it happens?

When fraud happens, your liability is typically zero…but do check with your card issuer for details

When you experience fraud on your credit (or debit) card, those charges are typically covered. Because of the increase in fraud and subsequent concerns about public reactions to ID theft and fraud, the major credit card companies and many issuers have voluntarily adopted zero liability policies that go beyond the requirements of federal regulation, and these continue to be updated to protect consumers. As the name implies, zero liability means that consumers pay nothing if their cards or account information are stolen and used fraudulently.

As long as you’ve exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your card, regularly review and monitor your account transactions online and/or on your statements, and alert your institution as soon as you identify a fraudulent transaction, unauthorized purchases shouldn’t be your responsibility.

But take note, you could end up having to pay for the fraudulent costs if you don’t report the fraud immediately, as it’s the consumer’s responsibility to regularly monitor activity on his/her account. So best to contact your card issuer as soon as you know or suspect fraud has occurred on your account.

What do you do if you suspect or have had confirmed fraud on your Vantage credit card account?

Call Vantage Credit Union immediately at 314.298.0055 or 800.522. 6009 so we can cancel your current card and issue you a new one. After business hours and on weekends, call 800.449.7728.

Also, contact the credit bureaus to let them know that fraud has occurred. A “Fraud Alert” message will be placed on your file. You should also request a copy of your credit report and review it carefully.

Here are the three credit bureaus and their numbers:

Equifax: 800.525.6285
Experian: 888.397.3742
Trans Union: 800.680.7289

Also, call the police in the jurisdiction where your card(s) was stolen to report the theft.

Here are examples of the different kinds of fraud people experience on their credit card accounts.

Lost or Stolen Card
This one’s obvious, your credit card is lost or stolen and the card is subsequently used without your permission.

You didn’t receive a new or replacement card that was sent to you by your issuing institution. In this case, you may have no idea that the card is missing until you receive a statement listing transactions not made by you.

Fraudulent Application
Your personal information is used to apply for a credit card. This type of fraud is often difficult to detect until the issuer receives a complaint from the consumer or the account goes into collections shortly after having been issued. If you have no relationship with the institution that issued the card, you may not know a card has been issued in your name until you apply for credit elsewhere and are denied because of a poor credit rating.

Even though your financial institution issued your card to you, transactions appear on your account statement that you didn’t make. This could be an indication that a counterfeit card bearing your account number is in circulation and being used at the same time you’re making legitimate purchases.

Account Takeover
While you’re in possession of your card, somebody else posing as the cardholder “takes over” the account by requesting a replacement card on the same account, usually to be mailed to a different address. You wouldn’t know this has been done until you receive an account statement showing transactions not made by you, or, you fail to receive your monthly account statement. (At Vantage, we only mail replacement cards to your address on-file, so this particular scenario shouldn’t happen if you have our card.)

No Card Present
While you’re in possession of your card, somebody makes transactions using the card number only, as in the case of mail orders, phone orders, or online purchases. You may not know this has been done until you receive an account statement showing mail/phone order or online transactions not made by you.

Other Scenarios
There are other scenarios that are classified as fraud, but don’t fall into the described categories. An example would be the theft and subsequent use of balance transfer checks, which you may or may not have ordered from your financial institution.