Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Report The $9.84 Credit Card Charge or Any Unauthorized Charge

In the past few weeks, hundreds of consumers have complained online about a mysterious $9.84 charge on their credit cards. The complaints have become serious enough for the Better Business Bureau to issue a fraud alert warning others to look out for a similar charge on their credit card statements.

Consumers may be reluctant to report an unauthorized charge of such a small amount, brushing it off because $9.84 seems insignificant. However, there have been past instances where scammers “test” a credit card with a small fraudulent charge to see if the card is valid. Then, once the small charge goes through, the scammer will hit the credit card with even bigger charges. This may or may not be the scheme in this instance. The scammer's plan might also be to hit a large number of credit cards with a small, seemingly unnoticeable amount, and rack up that way. Thousands of $9.84 credit card charges would equal thousands of dollars.

The $9.84 scam appears to be part of an affiliate scheme located in several different countries according to the blog Krebs on Security, run by a former Washington Post reporter. Right now the scam amount is $9.84, but the Better Business Bureau warns that the scam amount could change as more consumers start reporting that specific amount.

Initially some people suspected the mysterious charge was associated with Target’s massive data breach that occurred in late 2013. But, Krebs on Security says complaints about the charge date back to at least the beginning of 2013, months before credit card details were stolen in Target’s data breach. Also that the charge seems to have peaked around the holidays which is why it was associated with the Target data breach.

Monitor your credit card statements. If you spot a $9.84 charge on your credit card, one that you didn’t make, contact your credit card issuer immediately. You can request that your account be closed – obviously it’s been compromised – and ask to have a new credit card with a new credit card number.

It’s always wise to watch your credit card statement and report any unauthorized charge, regardless of the amount and regardless of whether other people have complained about it on the internet. Get in the habit of monitoring your account online periodically in between your billing statements. The sooner you report any type of credit card fraud, the less damage that will be done.

Remember that you’re not legally responsible for fraudulent charges made to your credit card while it’s still in your possession. However, if your credit card is lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to reduce your liability for any authorized charges made on the account. Your maximum liability is $50, that’s if you wait to report your missing credit card and charges have already been made. Many credit cards have $0 fraud liability policies that remove your liability for any fraudulent charges.

The law is a little different for debit and ATM cards, so you want to report a missing bank card much faster. If you report the missing card before any unauthorized charges are made, your maximum liability is $50. If you wait to report it, you could be liable for anywhere from $50 to all the money taken from your account, depending on how long you wait. Report missing cards and unauthorized charges immediately to protect the funds in your account.

Sources: Better Business Bureau, KrebsonSecurity.com
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Saturday, 19 October 2019

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