Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

How to Reduce Your Risk of Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is when your account is used for unauthorized purchases.

For example, when you check your credit card account online, you might notice that there is a purchase you didn't make. Although many of the major credit cards offer zero liability on fraudulent purchases, it's still your responsibility to be on the lookout for fraud and to report suspicious transactions as soon as possible.

Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk of Fraud

  • Don’t shop on unsecure websites. Make sure you verify that a website is authentic before making a purchase.
  • Beware of phishing scams that aim to ask for your personal and credit card information. Never send your credit card information via email or give it over the phone unsolicited.
  • Don't use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions.
  • Review your credit reports regularly. Report any fraud right away. Obtain your free credit report at
  • Review your bank and credit card statements regularly. Report any fraud right away.
  • Shred unwanted documents that show your credit card number.
  • Contact your credit card company right away if you lose your card.

What To Do If Your Credit Card Information Is Stolen

If your credit card information is stolen you must act fast.

  • Contact your bank and credit card companies. Your first task is to cancel those credit cards.
  • Monitor your financial statements. Review credit card and bank statements, report any fraud right away.
  • Check credit reports regularly. Contact the credit reporting company right away if you notice something is not right.
  • 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.