The next time caller ID says your credit card company is calling, you might want to answer the phone. They may well be calling to alert you to a potentially fraudulent charge on your card, according to a new study. In most cases, the call is not a scam or bogus attempt to sell you something.
It's a call that's increasingly necessary to protect both you and your credit card issuer. Nearly one-third of credit card holders have been the victim of credit card fraud, according to a survey of more than 1,100 consumers conducted by CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison website. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of consumers said their credit card company had called them to confirm a suspicious charge to a credit card. In 28.5 percent of cases the charge was, in fact, fraudulent.
Most (62 percent) respondents were glad that the issuer called, even in those cases when the transaction was not fraudulent. A minority (9.5 percent) were annoyed by the calls.
In those cases where fraud was identified, more than 75 percent of respondents said that the credit card companies resolved the case within a week.
Even consumers who have never been a victim of fraud are worried, with women being more concerned than men, the survey found. Fifty-eight percent of female respondents worry about credit card fraud. In comparison, less than half (48 percent) of male respondents said they were concerned.
The survey also found that consumers as well as credit card companies are stepping up their vigilance. More than a third of consumers (35 percent) check their credit card statements weekly for questionable charges while 9 percent do so daily.
"Credit card companies routinely track purchases and flag accounts with suspicious activity," said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey.com. "Despite the false alarms, consumers overall are happy that credit card companies are taking a proactive approach to safeguard consumers."