No. of Recommendations: 20
Hi Kmart, I'm an economic crimes detective in a suburban police department and I can help. Here's what I would recommend:

1) First make a police report. You will have to make a report with the department with jurisdiction of where the fraudulent charge appeared.

Will any thing come of this report? Highly unlikely. The criminal will most likely not be caught. Justice will most likely not be served. Crime will pay. Sorry, but we need to be realistic here. Heck, the police department might not even take any meaningful action. Yet the police report will be prove to be invaluable to you as you navigate the waters of taking further steps to protect your identity and prevent more fraud occurring under your name.

Make the report and keep the agency and their assigned case number handy as you go through the following steps. Make sure you get a case number and the officer's name who took the report!

2) Get a new card from your bank/credit card agency. You didn't mention it so I wasn't sure if you already did this. Besides voiding the charge, please make sure you cancel the compromised card and ask them to send you a new one in the mail.

3) Keep monitoring your credit report. Sometimes it takes a while before a new credit card or inquiry shows up. Check at least once a month for the next six (or so).

4) Go back and review credit statements...for all of your credit cards and bank accounts. You mentioned this was a "large charge". Go back and meticulously review your statements for the past couple of months. Lots of times fraudsters will test your credit card with smaller charges first. Review and look for any small, even minuscule charges too. If you find them on the same credit card, call and make sure they have those charges voided too. If you find them on a different card, have the charges voided, cancel card, order a new one. Check carefully!

5) Check out credit monitoring services. I honestly don't have personal recommendations. None are perfect or bulletproof but all can help. My wife and I use Lifelock and Credit Karma but, again, I'm not sure if they're better or worse than the rest. I know there's services offered by Transunion, Experian, Equifax, and lots of others too. I would recommend you research them on your own and at least consider a subscription to one or more. If/when you do, let them know you were a recent victim of identity theft and cc fraud and ask for further advice. Take full advantage of their resources and services too.

6) Finally, the most important thing you can do is to keep vigilantly monitoring your money in all of your various accounts. In this day and age, it is extremely rare when an individual consumer is not immediately reimbursed when they report credit/debit card fraud in a timely manner. There are other types of fraud, most involving wire transfers and money services where this is not the case. But with credit and debit cards, fraud rarely costs the individual consumer real money...if and when it is reported in a timely manner.

I see it way too often when an elderly widow or carefree young single guy come in and want to report some manner of fraud involving their bank account that occurred six months ago. And they just discovered it. Proving fraud at this point is nearly impossible. Surveillance video tapes are erased. Bank tellers cannot remember. Any and all evidence is gone. And at this point banks will rarely reimburse all - or any - of the questionable charges!

I'm so glad you didn't let this happen to you! Keep monitoring your charges and accounts religiously and immediately report suspicious activity.

I hope this helps. I'm sure I've forgotten many things along the way. If I think of anything else, I will try to post again later. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

- Matt
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