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Credit card fraud on the rise amid pandemic

Three simple steps you can take to protect your credit card reputation. Best all-around advice? Put a credit alert on all your cards.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Did you know that the United States is the country most prone to credit card fraud?

The numbers in this kind of fraud are staggering. 28.6 billion stolen worldwide, and about 11 billion of it right here at home the United States. So how does this affect you you’re asking?

“The other part of it is, now a scammer has your information, your address, your full name and they have more information to go open up other accounts as well,” Tom Bartholomy of the Charlotte Better Business Bureau said. 

Scammers will not let a good crisis go to waste, which is why this type of fraud is increasing. Before everything was digital, consumers just had to worry about that carbon copy of their card down in the trash at checkout, but now, it’s more complex, it’s complicated and hard to understand.  The only thing easier is becoming a victim.

Three quick tips to protect yourself include checking your statement thoroughly. Ask yourself, how often do you really do that? That’s the first step as a lot of it goes unreported.

Secondly, if you are a victim of credit fraud, get a new card with new numbers from your credit company. 

And thirdly, think about placing a fraud alert on your account. If someone tries some hanky panky with your account, you get notified with a phone call asking if you are the one making the purchase.

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Somebody always pays, so does the cost of doing business get passed on to consumers eventually?

“Oh definitely. It gets passed on to us with higher annual fees and higher interest rates,” Bartholomy said. 

RELATED: A man knocked on a woman's door and said he had her W-2 tax form. When she opened the door, he assaulted her.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit once a year, you get one free check. Sometimes that kind of financial housecleaning can pay off.