3 ways you could accidentally commit credit card fraud

Committing credit card fraud may be the last thing you intend to do. While this is a term often used to describe a wide range of theft and fraud using a credit card, it usually has an association with unauthorized credit card charges. There are seemingly innocent or accidental actions you can take that can get you in financial or legal trouble.

You do not want to end up in jail or be unable to obtain future credit due to a mistake. Here are some ways you can accidentally commit credit card fraud.

1. Using a card without permission

Never use a credit card without permission from the cardholder. You might think you have free rein with a credit card given to you by a family member or significant other, but think twice before going on a shopping spree. Do you have explicit permission to use the card for the purchases you intend to make? When in doubt, play it safe and ask for permission every single time you use a card that belongs to another person.

2. Signing up for a free trial online with a fake card number

There are several free trials online for streaming services, product samples or software. It might be tempting to sign up for a free trial with a fake number so you do not have to worry about getting charged once the trial ends. If you do this, you not only risk breaking the terms of service of the website or using a stolen number, but you could be breaking the law.

3. Disputing your own charges

Chargeback fraud or friendly fraud are other terms for this. If you make an online purchase with your card then request a refund citing fraud, you are committing fraudulent behavior. This action causes the bank to refund your money while you keep the goods, leaving the seller without the money. This could be an honest mistake or intentional fraud.

Read more about unknowingly committing credit card fraud at Bankrate, a financial advice website.


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