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The ease of access to credit cards may be convenient but the common practice of using a credit card to pay for just about anything we buy has also opened the doors wider for identity theft. Thanks to the Truth in Lending Act there is credit card fraud help for victims – but there is a time limit to receive identity theft assistance for eradicating credit card charges.
The Truth in Lending Act typically limits your liability for unauthorized credit card charges to $50 per card – but you must take action within 60 days. If you have identity theft claims for fraudulent charges on your credit card account(s) use the below procedures set up by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) for resolving disputes and billing errors, which includes fraudulent charges on your accounts.
1) Put it in writing. Review your statements to find a mailing address for “billing inquires.” Write a concise, clear letter to each creditor and include your name, address, account number and details of the fraudulent charges shown on the statement, including the date and amount of the unauthorized charges.
2) Beat the 60-day deadline. You MUST mail your notification letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days of the date of the first bill containing the fraudulent charge was mailed to you, so the sooner you send it, the better. If an identity thief changes the address on your account so you never receive the statement, it does not excuse you from the 60-day notification requirement. You are responsible to keep track of your billing statements and immediately follow up with creditors when your bills do not arrive on time.
3) Get proof of receipt. Send your letter using certified mail with a return receipt requested so you have confirmation of delivery with the date the creditor received the letter. Make copies of sales receipts or other documents that support your position and enclose them with your letter. Keep the original receipts and a copy of your dispute letter.
Each creditor is required to acknowledge your complaint in writing and within 30 days of receiving it. Disputes must be resolved within two billing cycles.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|