Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) March 14, 2014
Commenting on recent news reports revealing consumers nationwide are discovering unknown charges of $9.84 on their bank statements, Virginia credit card fraud attorney Matthew J. Erausquin of Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C., said consumers who notice any unusual charges should contact their credit card company or financial institution immediately. He said people who ignore even small charges could be vulnerable to bigger scams in the future.
CBS 6 (“BBB warns of $9.84 mystery charge on bank, credit card statements,” Jan. 29, 2014) and other media reported that nationwide concerns over credit fraud grew in mid-January after thousands of consumers noticed fraudulent charges on their credit card statements. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) on Jan. 24, 2014, issued a warning to consumers to report unknown charges of $9.84 to their financial institution immediately, according to CBS 6.
“Our firm has handled cases involving credit card fraud, and we tell clients that even small charges should not be ignored,” Erausquin said. “You might notice an unknown charge of just a few dollars and think that it’s not worth your time to contact your credit card company. But that would be a mistake. We know that many scammers will first charge a small amount to a consumer’s credit card to see if he or she will report the unknown charge. These scammers then access the account at a later date to take a larger amount.”
Erausquin said this common form of credit card fraud is typically employed by scammers because they believe many consumers will not notice a minor charge and credit companies won’t take action against a small charge.
According to CBS 6, fraud victims report that the unknown charge goes back to a generic website for “Customer Support” that is not the business’ website. Although the site promises to “refund 100% of your last payment” and provides phone and email contact information, consumers should contact their bank as a precaution, according to CBS 6.
Erausquin said consumers can take a few steps to protect against fraud. “It’s important for consumers to use caution when ordering online or over the phone,” he said. “If you believe your information has been compromised, report incorrect charges to your financial institution or credit card company immediately. The Fair Credit Billing Act provides you with powerful dispute rights.”
Erausquin said that in serious cases, victims of fraud or identity theft who may also notice fraudulent or otherwise incorrect items in their credit files should consider seeking the counsel of an attorney who has significant experience litigating under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
About Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. (http://www.clalegal.com)
Serving consumers in Virginia, California, North Carolina and in other federal courts across the country, the lawyers at Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. are among the nation’s leading consumer advocates and have tried numerous Fair Credit Reporting Act cases to a jury verdict. The Virginia-based law firm handles a wide variety of cases, including identity theft, inaccurate credit reports, debt collection abuse, problems with mortgage companies, employment background checks and other practice areas.
For more information about what to do if you’re a victim of identity theft and the legal options available to you, call 1-877-FCRA-LAW (1-877-327-2529) or complete the online contact form.
Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C.
1800 Diagonal Rd. Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314