Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Consumeraffairs.com posted a troubling story today about an English woman whose credit card was used by an identity thief. While the scenario isn’t new, the outcome includes valuable advice for consumers. In this case, the victim (Betsy), requested that her credit card company notify her by email anytime more than $200 was charged to her account. It worked.

When the thief purchased a big screen TV from an online store in the U.S., Betsy was notified. She immediately called her credit company and closed account the account. But Betsy went a step further. She called the online merchant, JustFTA.com, and reported the TV purchase as fraudulent. The company had already shipped the merchandise --  the thief had even managed to change Betsy’s billing address --  but was able to call Federal Express and cancel delivery. JustFTA.com was spared the loss of a pricey TV, but Consumer Affairs says in the world of credit card fraud, merchants often lose out.

“Though there’s no conclusive proof to establish exactly how Betsy’s account was stolen, the anti-fraud feature of her credit card account and her prompt action combined to minimize losses. By asking to be notified in the event of a large credit card purchase, Betsy was able to head off the thief. And her quick response was greatly appreciated at JustFTA.com,” the article states.

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