How Credit Card Fraud Happens

Credit card fraud can take place in a variety of ways. For example:

  • A retail or bank website is compromised or hacked, resulting in your card number being stolen
  • A checkout device where you swiped your card was tampered with to collect your account information
  • A phishing scam can lead you to share card or other personal information by disguising itself as your banking institution

Our Fraud Team proactively monitors your account for any unusual activity. If we see anything suspicious, we'll place a hold on those transactions and will alert you right away.

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft happens when someone uses your name or personal information to commit financial fraud.

If someone steals your Discover card account information, remember that our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee means you are never responsible for unauthorized transactions on your Discover card account.

Along with protecting you against fraudulent charges, Discover would like to offer some tips and tools to help protect your information:

  • Discover will never request that you send sensitive information via email
  • Sign the back of your card with your full name rather than "See ID"
  • Use the CID number on the back of your card. Online or catalog merchants verify authorized cardholders with this number
  • Regularly review and monitor your transaction history
  • Shred sensitive documents before throwing them out
  • Don't carry personal information such as your birth certificate, Social Security card, or passport on you unless you need to use it. Immediately contact the appropriate government offices if you should lose such documents

Visit our glossary of Common Safety Terms and the Fraud and Account Protection FAQ page for more information.

Reporting Identity Theft

Once you suspect your identity or financial information is being used fraudulently, call your bank and credit card companies immediately. The faster you act, the better you can limit the damage.

Next, file a police report to help the authorities gain insight on how the crime was committed and to help prevent future fraudulent use of your personal and financial records. Call the numbers below to place a fraud alert on your name and identity.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)
Innovis: 1-800-540-2505
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

Social Engineering

Social engineering is on the rise. As we place more and more personal information online to share with friends, family, and our network, fraudsters take advantage of these details to commit fraud. Protect yourself while you're on your favorite social networking site by following these simple precautions:

  • Research a social networking site or community before joining to assure its legitimacy
  • Use a different user ID or password than you use for financial accounts
  • Never share personal financial information on social media sites
  • Create a screen name that isn't overly descriptive or revealing
  • Check all links to make sure they are authentic
  • Only post information you are comfortable with others seeing
  • Use the network's privacy settings appropriately
  • Never include information that would aid in identity theft such as your address, phone number or employment information

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