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Am I responsible for fraudulent charges on my credit card?


Maybe, but don’t worry about it. Cardholders face a maximum liability of $50 if a card is stolen, no matter how much is charged on it and however many bogus transactions take place, as long as you report the theft within 60 days. There is no liability for transactions done after a cardholder informs the issuing bank of the theft, however, and no liability at all if possession of the card is maintained. If fraud occurs after a transaction online or over the phone or if a merchant’s employee, such as a waiter, swipes your card details and goes on a shopping spree, you’re off the hook.
Even if a thief lifts your wallet and rings up some purchases with your card, it’s very unlikely that the issuer will hit you up for the $50. It’s not worth the bureaucratic hassle or the risk of offending a good customer who is a crime victim. Besides, losses from fraud amount to less than one-tenth of one percent of the amount charged on credit cards, and banks can recoup that from merchants or from their millions of cardholders through slightly higher interest rates or fees.
-Conrad de Aenlle