Zero Liability

Many credit cards come with features to help protect you from liability and monitor against fraud. Zero liability is one of these features that offers both protection and peace of mind. All Visa®, Mastercard®, Discover® and American Express® consumer credit cards offer zero liability protection, which means you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized transactions on your credit card. Zero liability applies to your purchases made in a store, over the telephone, online or with a mobile device. To take advantage of the protection, you must report any unauthorized transactions to your card issuer immediately.

Your card issuer may have other requirements for offering this coverage; for instance, you may have to keep your account in good standing or promptly report a lost or stolen card within a certain timeframe.

Predictive Fraud Analytics

Credit card companies use sophisticated data mining tools to search millions of transactions to help them spot patterns that help detect fraudulent transactions. These patterns help them discover what typically occurs before, during or after a fraudulent incident. That makes predicting and detecting fraud easier. Predictive models can be generated to estimate the probability of fraudulent transactions in different circumstances.

You may be most familiar with this form of fraud protection when it involves travel abroad and you find your card in frozen when you’re on vacation or business travel. It’s wise to alert your card issuer of the dates and location of your travel to avoid having a hold placed on your account when you attempt a transaction overseas or when you’re in another state. That might happen (if you hadn’t notified your card issuer) because your purchase doesn’t fit your usual pattern of purchases and therefore raises a concern that it may be fraudulent. Other unusual activity, such as making a much larger purchase than usual, may also be flagged as suspicious.

Transaction Alerts

Many credit card issuers allow you to sign up for phone, text message or email alerts when there is suspicious activity on your account. You have the opportunity to review the suspicious transaction and confirm whether it’s one you made or set up, or whether it’s unauthorized. You can also set up and receive alerts for other situations, such as when a transaction over a certain dollar amount is processed. If you sign up for alerts, make sure your credit card issuer has your current contact information and knows your preferred contact method. Discovering credit card fraud right away can help you minimize the inconvenience of dealing with it, and receiving alerts of suspicious activity is a good way to do that.

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