NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud


          Credit card fraud continues to be a crime that happens too often and can be difficult to stop.  Stealing a credit card or using discarded receipts to obtain card numbers are not the only type of credit card fraud.

          Another type of credit card fraud involves winning a contest. You might receive a call stating that you have won an automobile or some other fabulous prize. However, the scam artist says, it is necessary for you to provide your Social Security number to “verify that you are the actual winner.” The deception usually continues with you being asked for your credit card number because you are required to pay taxes on the prize. In this scheme, the con artist will use your credit card number, along with the additional proof of your Social Security number, to purchase merchandise and services at your expense.

          If someone phones you and says that you need to “provide the information now or I am instructed to go to the alternate winner,” warning bells should go off in your head. Any reputable promotional firm will give you 24 hours to check out the company. If they do not, it is usually a warning signal of fraud.

          Yet another form of credit card fraud is simply a rip-off. You receive a call informing you that you have been selected in a “marketing program” for an unbelievably low-priced travel package or other product. You are requested to provide your credit card number to pay for shipping.  And you do receive a product but what you receive is not nearly as desirable as the promotion made it seem. As a result, you end up paying more for the product than it is really worth.

          If you believe someone other than you has access to your credit card, it is very important to notify the credit card company immediately. According to the Fair Credit Billing Act, $50 is the maximum amount you can be held accountable for if your credit card is used without your authorization. This amount is per card. If you inform the company of the loss before any charges is made, then you are not responsible for any amount. It is important that you follow up your phone call to the credit card company with a letter sent by certified mail with receipt requested so that there is documentation of the fact that you notified them.

          Credit cards have become an important part of the American economy.  Always treat your credit cards with caution.      


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