Today, on Visual.ly, I came across an awesome infographic which highlights “deceptive and unwanted charges” that might appear on your credit or debit card banking statements. According to the graphic, which was designed by Bill Guard, a service I use to help prevent fraudulent transactions, Americans are being scammed to the tune of $14 billion in so-called “grey” charges every year. $14 BILLION. I think Americans deserve better, and while some of the perpetration happens here, an untold number of scams originate abroad. But, you can fight back.
To help remedy this problem, Bill Guard scans your statements for irregular or suspicious looking merchants and alerts you of possible fraud. It is free for up to three credit/debit cards, or $45/annually for up to 10 cards. You have to register your credit/debit card number in order for the system to work, but I trust the site, as it has definitely flagged some odd transactions which forced me to double-check their authenticity. In addition, typically, if you are the victim of fraud, your liability will be $50 or less. Unfortunately, it does mean that banks must pass these charges on to consumers in the form of higher rates and fees.
Let’s take a look at the graphic.
Consider signing up for Bill Guard. It works very quickly and alerts you every month if there are any grey charges. It’s not a bad idea to have a watchdog looking over your finances when you are busy doing other things in life.