Issuers primarily block credit cards to protect their customers against fraud. If they detect seemingly suspicious activity with a particular card, they make the card temporarily unusable. Then, the issuer declines attempted transactions until the credit card holder either confirms or disputes the “strange” transactions. Unfortunately for Ohio consumers, credit card companies frequently block cards when no actual fraud has occurred. Sometimes, Ohio credit card users step outside of their “normal” purchasing habits and cause issuers to block their credit cards as a precaution. This often causes frustration and inconvenience for affected Ohioans. However, you can avoid unnecessary credit card blocks if you understand why they happen and take preventive measures.
Typical Red Flags that Trigger Blocks on Ohio Credit Cards
Issuing companies block credit cards at signs of suspected fraud to guard consumers, sure, but they also do it to protect themselves. Most major credit cards come with built-in fraud protection, so the credit card companies absorb the costs of reported fraud. In fact, in 2016, credit card companies took a $9 billion hit in fraud losses. So, it makes sense that issuers want to do all that they can to minimize credit card fraud. This is why they are fairly quick to block credit cards in Ohio and other states when red flags go up.
For example, an issuer may block your credit card if any of the following things occur.
You shop somewhere for the very first time.
This normally only happens when Ohio consumers who always shop at the same stores for the same items deviate from the norm. Or, if you’ve never purchased farm equipment in your life and suddenly spend $600 on TractorsRUs.com, your credit card company may initialize a block.
You make several purchases of the same type within a very short amount of time.
It may seem normal to you to visit three different craft stores within an hour because you need specific items for a project. Yet, your credit card company may think differently. Issuers of credit card often flag this type of behavior as unusual.
You make a very small purchase right before buying something expensive.
On your way to buy a new couch, you purchase and download a song from iTunes. Later, when you try to charge pillows to match the couch at a different Ohio store, your credit card is declined. Why? Sadly, credit card fraudsters often employ the “small purchase trick” to test a stolen credit card number. They buy something small, see that the number is good, then move on to a bigger, more expensive item. This is why issuers block credit cards under these circumstances.
You make a substantial purchase at a remote location.
Here is another couch scenario. This time, you are moving from Ohio to Florida. You buy a couch in Florida, but you still have an Ohio credit card billing address. Initially, your credit card company may decline this purchase because, normally, it seems strange to live in one state and buy furniture in another one.
You use your credit card while traveling outside of Ohio.
Traveling Ohio credit card users face this dilemma all of the time. Of course, if you are on a road trip, you may charge gas and a meal in one state, then purchase another meal at a restaurant in another state. Then, you might use an ATM in the next state you hit after that. It makes sense to you, but your credit card company may block your card as a precaution.
How Ohio Consumers Can Prevent Credit Card Blocks
Ohio credit card users who plan to travel or make “unusual” purchases should call their issuers to give them advance notice. Normally, this should stop companies from blocking credit cards and causing unnecessary frustration.
On the other hand, if your card is blocked due to your own activity, you can normally remove the block in about 20 minutes or less by answering a few questions. Knowing that issuers frequently block credit cards for various reasons, you should always have backup payment on hand. This way, even if it takes a little time to resolve the block, you can cover immediate expenses.
How Ohio Consumers Can Catch Actual Credit Card Fraud and Other Types of Identity Theft
Unfortunately, issuers don’t always catch actual credit card fraud, so you should check your statements for bogus transactions as often as possible. Ohio consumers should also check their credit reports on a regular basis to look for fraudulent accounts opened in their names.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. So, you should review your credit reports at least this often. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com, and request your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all in one place.
Then, while going over your credit reports, if you spot unauthorized accounts or bogus charges, file a police report right away, and obtain a copy for your records. Next, contact the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C. Calling our firm is the best way to get fraudulent items removed from your credit reports quickly, easily, and legally. Our credit pros will handle the whole process for you, and an experienced credit attorney will get you clean credit reports – all for FREE.
The Free and Legal way to Repair Credit Reports After Identity Theft in Ohio
Don’t let identity theft damage bring your credit score down. At the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C., we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (216) 358-0591 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/ohio/fix-identity-theft/.