Credit Card Loss Protection Offers:
They're the Real Steal
"I got a call from a woman who said I need
credit card loss protection insurance. I thought there was a law that limited my liability
to $50 for unauthorized charges. But she said the law had changed and that now, people are
liable for all unauthorized charges on their account. Is that true?"
buy the pitch - and don't buy the "loss protection" insurance. Telephone scam
artists are lying to get people to buy worthless credit card loss protection and insurance
programs. If you didn't authorize a charge, don't pay it. Follow your credit card issuer's
procedures for disputing charges you haven't authorized. According to the Federal Trade
Commission, your liability for unauthorized charges is limited to $50.
The FTC says worthless credit card loss protection offers are popular among fraudulent
promoters who are trying to exploit consumers' uncertainty. As a result, the agency is
cautioning consumers to avoid doing business with callers who claim that:
- you're liable for more than $50 in
unauthorized charges on your credit card account;
- you need credit card loss protection
because computer hackers can access your credit card number and charge
thousands of dollars to your account;
- a computer bug could make it easy for
thieves to place unauthorized charges on your credit card account; and
- they're from "the security department"
and want to activate the protection feature on your credit card.
The FTC advises consumers not to give out personal information - including their credit
card or bank account numbers - over the phone or online unless they are familiar with the
business that's asking for it. Scam artists can use your personal information to commit
fraud, such as identity theft. That's where someone uses some piece of your personal
information, such as your credit card account number, Social Security number, mother's
maiden name, or birth date, without your knowledge or permission to commit fraud or theft.
An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open
a credit card account in your name.
For More Information
To learn more about protecting yourself against credit card fraud and
identity theft, call the FTC toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or visit www.ftc.gov to get the free publications,
Credit, ATM and Debit Cards: What to do if
They're Lost or Stolen,
Fair Credit Billing and
Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name.
The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the
marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and
avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get free information
on consumer issues, visit
call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related
Consumer Sentinel, a
secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law
enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
FOR THE CONSUMER