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I am currently in a predicament where I am living in France but most of my credit cards (the ones I don't really use) are back in the U.S. with my parents. I didn't take pictures of the front/back before I left - my mistake.

I am now getting mobile app notifications that purchases are being made on one of the cards that is in the U.S. with my parents. They are international purchases originating in Asia. Despite having reported this to my bank, my card was not frozen. I have to call the card company customer service, which I did, but they require the full card number and CVV number, which I don't have.

Long story short, I have to wait a few days for my parents to send me the card info (they are out of the house) so I can properly handle the fraud. These charges are resting for several days on my card with no dispute (yet).

Will taking a few days to report the fraud to the card merchant impact my credit score? Will any fraudulent use of my cards impact my score? I feel kind of helpless watching the notifications of charges on my card come in, knowing that I can't do anything for a few more days...

  • Can't you call your parents and ask them to read off the CVV2 numbers for you? – RonJohn Jan 12 '18 at 18:11
  • @RonJohn Yes, but my parents are away from the house for a few days, so I have to wait. – Chris Cirefice Jan 12 '18 at 18:11
  • Have you tried logging into your account and flagging transactions as fraudulent? – Hart CO Jan 12 '18 at 18:15
  • @HartCO I'm with 5/3 Bank and no I can't do that online, oddly enough. I called 5/3 customer support and they forwarded me to the card company's customer support in order to freeze the card and dispute the transaction. But I need the full card information to do that, and I won't have it for a few days. – Chris Cirefice Jan 12 '18 at 18:16
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This article asserts that you have 60 days to dispute a charge under the Fair Credit Billing Act, and even longer in instances of unauthorized use.

The only way it would affect your credit score long-term is if as a result of unauthorized use you had delinquency/late-payments reported to the credit bureaus. Typically these unauthorized charges are resolved quickly, but if it drags on it might be best to make the minimum payment or make sure skipping payment while they investigate is acceptable to your card provider. Apparently, even in cases of fraud it can be a big hassle to undo the mess once it hits the credit bureaus.

In the short-term, unauthorized charges could ramp up your utilization ratio causing a dip in score, but the impact would be temporary.

There are people who still get paper statements, they can easily not spot unauthorized charges for several weeks after they happen, so you shouldn't be too worried about a couple of days. That said, I might call the issuer again and try to get elevated to a supervisor, stopping additional fraudulent charges is in their best interest. You could report the card missing/stolen if you want, they will not require the CVV for that.

  • Good point about the paper statements - I have mobile notifications so I knew within minutes that my card was being used in Japan. I'm just scared because this is the first time this has happened, and I have a perfect record thus far. Thanks for your answer, I feel a lot more at ease :) – Chris Cirefice Jan 13 '18 at 19:42
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First of all, I am surprised that your bank is acting this way. I call my banks all the time without knowing the CC number and they always have a way they can fully verify me without me providing the CC number, let alone the CVV code. But the shocking part is that you are informing them that your card is currently being fraudulently used, and they are not immediately putting a stop to it. You've done your part, and if they choose to make you jump through hoops such that more charges might happen in the next few days, then it's their loss, not yours. You are not going to be responsible for those fraudulent charges.

Your credit report would only ever be affected due to the extra charges if they end up on your statement AND if you don't pay the bill in time.

Note you'll probably be getting a new credit card number as a result of this, since your current one is obviously compromised.

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    Yeah I was kind of surprised that my bank didn't deal with the card issuer directly... I can report a card lost or stolen, but cannot report fraudulent charges without going to the card company directly. While I don't really care that my card number stays the same, it's surprising that 1. the card wasn't blocked immediately for purchases way outside my spending zone (I'm in Europe, this was in Asia), and 2. I have to do so much to have the card blocked. I do agree with you though, the fact that the process is so long results in me not caring about money stolen from the card company. – Chris Cirefice Jan 13 '18 at 19:40
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Fraudulent use would only affect your credit score if it turns out that you were part of the fraud, and even then probably only indirectly because the bank close all accounts with you at minimum.

with the situation as described you have nothing to worry about - just make sure to follow up with the fraud report once you have the credit card number.

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