How Should I Review Credit Card Charges?

This is the excellent question posed recently by a reader. It is so appropriate for this spending –and frauding– season.

We’ve all heard that the easiest way to catch fraud and monitor our account is through online banking. When you get into the habit of frequently checking the transactions made to your checking account, you’ll easily recognize when something doesn’t seem right. But, that’s just for checking and debit card transactions, but what about your credit card?

Credit card charges are not part of your online banking account. Though your online banking may give you access to credit card statements, this isn’t as up-to-date as your checking account transactions. The best way to review your credit card charges is to thoroughly read your credit card statement.

Don’t Worry.  If you see transactions that you cannot account for contact our card services department. (This goes for debit card AND credit card transactions.)

The card services department will begin an investigation of any suspicious charge, no matter how large or small the amount. This is important because you should never ignore strange, but small charges, since this could be a thief’s way of testing the card to see if transactions will be accepted. In addition, thieves may use a card to make several small purchases that don’t require authorization.

When an investigation of a charge is opened the card services department can provide information as to where the purchase was made (state & city), type of merchant & whether the card was present for the purchase. They can also provide a substitute receipt if needed. This can be helpful in identifying whether or not the transaction is fraudulent.

We’re Watching Out for You. Our card processor security department monitors you purchasing habits. Okay, this might sound creepy, but it’s not what you’re thinking. We don’t analyze this data to use for marketing, nor does this information get transferred to any other company. The security department simply watches for unusual activity.

So, if security notices transactions that aren’t typical, such as an extremely large charge or charges from other countries, your card may be blocked until we can contact you to verify the charges. If we are unable to contact you, then an email alert will be sent to you.

Still the #1 Rule. Review your card statements. Don’t just pay your credit card bill and assume that all is well.

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