The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of credit card fraud in Loudoun County. At this time there are over 50 suspected cases of credit card fraud that are believed to be connected. In many cases the victim’s credit cards are being used at various locations throughout the United States and even overseas. It remains unclear at this time how and where the victims’ credit card numbers were accessed.
If you believe you have been a victim of credit card fraud, you are asked to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-1021 to file a report with a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy.
In light of these reports the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit is offering some tips to help protect residents from becoming a victim of credit and charge card fraud.
Residents are encouraged to:
- Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet, in a zippered compartment, a business card holder, or another small pouch.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
- Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
- Void incorrect receipts.
- Destroy carbons.
- Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
- Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
The agency also reminds residents to never give out your account number over the phone unless you are making the call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
If you lose your credit or charge cards or if you realize they’ve been lost or stolen, immediately call the issuer(s). Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies. By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. In any event, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card.