It’s every cardholder’s worst nightmare – discovering mysterious or unauthorized charges on their credit card statement. However, catching illegal billing early can help victims promptly get their money back and avoid greater financial headaches down the road. 

Today, we examine four key warning signs to watch out for that could indicate your card is falling prey to illegal credit card fees. Paying attention to strange activity on your statement just might spare you future hassle and help put a stop to credit card crooks.

1. Mystery or Unauthorized Purchases

One of the biggest red flags that illegal activity may be afoot is noticing purchases on your statement that you know you never personally made. Sometimes these transactions will only be for small amounts, as scammers test the limits of what card providers will question. However, other times flagrantly large unauthorized charges could appear. 

No matter the amount, any mystery charges pointing to use of your card number without permission demands further investigation. Don’t brush off purchases you can’t explain – getting to the bottom of potential identity theft is crucial.

2. Recurring Charges You Didn’t Agree To

Another warning sign crooks may be abusing your card number is recurring payments or subscriptions showing up that you never signed up for. These can be tricky to spot because smaller periodic charges may go unnoticed for a while. 

However, taking a closer look at your statement for any mystery direct debits, memberships or online subscriptions is wise. Criminals sometimes illicitly obtain card info to set up ongoing, automatic charges hoping the recurring nature hides their schemes longer. Spotting recurring fees you didn’t agree to means stopping payments and contacting your issuer straight away.

3. Charges from Unfamiliar Locations

Advanced card protection programs now help flag potentially fraudulent transactions by location. So watching out for charges sourcing from places you’ve never been could indicate illegal usage of your card number. For example, if you reside in California but start seeing charges billed to your card while you’re definitely not traveling anywhere else, such activity deserves further scrutiny. 

Distance alone doesn’t guarantee a purchase is dubious, but a pattern of transactions in far-off locations when you’ve stayed local raises eyebrows. Couple such activity with other warning signs for even cause for greater concern.  

4. Emails Not Matching Your Purchases

Another scenario that may tip off illegal billing activity is receiving email confirmations or order receipts for transactions that occurred despite you knowing you didn’t make any such purchase. Scammers sometimes use stolen card details to place bogus online orders hoping to later receive ill-gotten goods. 

Watching mailboxes and inboxes for confirmation messages pertaining to mystery transactions can unearth a case of potential identity theft tied to your card. Never overlook such email evidence, since they may be linked to shady underlying charges calling for a reporting.

Signs of Illegal Credit Card Fees: In Summary

Whether one or multiple warning signs apply, exercising vigilance over your card statement helps protect yourself from financial harm down the road. Taking quick action ensures the hassles crop up from crooked card activity are kept to a minimum and you can get illegal credit card fees reversed swiftly. Take a step further and consult experienced legal counsel who can help ensure your rights are upheld if situations like identity theft arise from unaddressed credit card issues.

Avatar

By SARAH