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What is a Credit Card Fraud Investigation?

By Luke Arthur
Updated May 16, 2024
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A credit card fraud investigation is an investigation that takes place when a consumer or business reports that a credit card fraud incident has taken place. These investigations can be triggered by a number of different circumstances including fraudulent purchases and identity theft. The credit card company has to conduct an investigation into the issue and report the findings to the consumer within a certain amount of time.

The credit card fraud investigation is becoming more common in today's society. Credit card fraud is a problem which affects many people across the world every day. This scam can take place in a number of different ways. Regardless of the method of credit card fraud, an investigation can potentially help remedy the problem.

One example of credit card fraud is when an individual has his or her credit card stolen. When the thief uses the card to make a purchase, this is known as credit card fraud. When this happens, the credit card owner should report the theft to local authorities and to his or her credit card company. As long as the individual does this quickly, he or she will most likely not be liable for any of the fraudulent charges. Most credit card companies now offer no-fraud liability to their customers.

Sometimes, individuals will look through their credit card statements and find a charge that looks questionable. If the individual believes that he or she did not make this charge, it could be the result of fraud. In that case, the individual will often contact his or her credit card company to get the issue resolved. The credit card company has up to 90 days to resolve the issue through a credit card fraud investigation. If the credit card fraud investigation is going to take longer than 90 days, the credit card company has to issue a credit to the account of the individual.

This situation can come up in a variety of different ways. For example, an individual could gain access to a credit card number by looking through financial documents in the trash. Many times, fraudulent websites will also attempt to obtain credit card numbers from unsuspecting shoppers. Once a credit card number is entered into one of these websites, the thief can assume the identity of the credit card owner and make fraudulent purchases. In order to avoid this situation, individuals should refrain from giving out their credit card numbers to questionable parties.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon992228 — On Aug 23, 2015

Fraud will be with us forever. There is no way to prevent it, but you can manage it. Get a card with a bank that watches for fraud 24/7, like BofA or American Express. You can also develop a pattern, by using your card for specific purchases and notify you card provider if you travel out of state. These measures along with securing your card, and your mail, will limit your exposure to credit card fraud. If you purchase online use caution, have good virus software installed on your computer and a good firewall. Use only merchants that are approved by the BBA and have a secure website. Do not give your card to anyone, and do not write your credit card number down for any merchant. Best of luck! --SafetyMan

By lauraine2011 — On Mar 29, 2013

Good tips. I learned lot about credit card fraud. These are new to me. Helps me go to next level.

By anon274195 — On Jun 10, 2012

Are there any investigators who work for hire by individuals? I have had this happen to me several times.

I have changed credit card numbers, changed credit card companies, purchased a new computer with a different operating system (went from a pc to a mac). And now it has happened again. Does anyone know of a way to help me figure out what is going on?

By Fiorite — On Feb 23, 2011

My Mother was a victim of credit card fraud. She got a call from her credit card company because there was suspicious activity on her business card. Someone had stolen her card information and charged up almost a thousand dollars in online purchases.

The credit card company almost immediately reversed the charges and the fraud investigators tracked the purchases to a fraudster who had stolen her card information at a restaurant. She had to sign some paperwork to press charges for the situation to be resolved. She said the investigators said the person had stolen the information, along with that of many others, when she had used her card to pay for a meal. I guess the credit card companies are just as interested in fraud as the victims affected by fraud.

By submariner — On Feb 22, 2011

It is crazy how prevalent credit card fraud is. I had someone steal my identity years ago, and charge up a couple thousand dollars in debt. They opened a fraudulent credit card in my name. This was well before online credit card fraud was prevalent. I ended up disputing the charge-off with a credit reporting bureau, so it was resolved fairly quickly, but it had been on my credit report for about a year before I had even realized. Lucky for me, the account had been opened when I was only 16 in a state that I had never lived, so all I had to do was verify my identity, and submit verification of previous addresses. Needless to say, I now shred all paper with any identifying information.

By GiraffeEars — On Feb 20, 2011

This was a very informative article. Thank you for clarifying what credit card fraud is. I think I might have been a victim of online credit card fraud, but know little about what to do next. I have called my credit card company, and they said that they will open an investigation and likely reverse the charges.

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