Credit and debit card fraud is one of the most prolific fears among average Americans. In a comprehensive survey spearheaded by the Consumer Federation of America, various state agencies reported the most prevalent, worst and fastest-growing sources of consumer unrest. Not surprisingly, credit and debt complaints came in at number two on the list of top consumer concerns.
When credit card issues arise, consumers' first option is to turn to their card issuer. But cardholders should be aware of their options should their credit card company prove unable or unwilling to help resolve problems.
Florida National Leader in Identity Theft, Other Complaints Related To Credit Cards
Any number of issues can arise that warrant cardholder complaints: identity theft/unauthorized charges, billing disputes, fees, interest rate hikes and unsatisfactory collection practices are just a sampling.
According to a Federal Trade Commission survey, Florida is ranked third in the nation on a list of states with the most per capita identity theft complaints. In 2008, there were 133.3 identify theft complaints for every 100,000 Floridians.
Walkthrough of Credit Card Fraud Complaint
Typically, the first step in addressing credit card problems is contacting the issuing company. When a credit card holder first becomes aware of an unauthorized charge, another indicator of credit card fraud or some other account problem, he or she should immediately contact the issuing company.
Sometimes the complaint ends there. A credit card company may reimburse the consumer for illegitimate charges, take steps to ensure future account security, and provide other forms of relief. But credit card companies are not always so kind to customers. If the credit provider is non-responsive or unable to address concerns in a satisfactory manner, the next step is contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to resolve complaints against the credit card issuer.
Formerly, Florida credit card complaints had to be sent to one of five different agencies depending on the type of card, the location of the issuer and other factors. Now, a consolidated system in the early stages of implementation offers consumers a one-stop option for resolving disputes with credit card companies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website gives users the option to easily submit complaints online.
Often an official complaint is not the end of the road for consumers. Depending on the nature of your individual situation, you may also be able to take direct legal direct action against your credit card company. If you have been treated unfairly by your credit card issuer, you may benefit from the services of an experienced Florida attorney.