Investigating Credit Card Theft: Do Credit Card Companies Actually Investigate?

Updated on

Imagine a thief stealing your credit card; you are upset and frustrated but don’t know what to do next. People might tell you that the police wouldn’t investigate the theft because it was a ‘minor crime.’ But is that true? Do the police even care about credit card theft?

You might be surprised to learn that the answer is not always a resounding “yes.” Many people find that their local law enforcement agency isn’t interested in investigating this crime. While there are certainly exceptions, you may need to take a more proactive role in getting your case investigated.

We have researched deeply on the topic and gathered some information for you. Hopefully, it will answer some of your questions if you’ve been affected by credit card theft in the past!

What is Credit Card Theft?

What exactly is credit card theft? Put simply, it’s the unauthorized use of someone else’s credit card to make purchases or withdraw cash. Most people don’t realize how easy it is for someone to steal their credit card information. Credit card theft is one of the most common types of identity theft.

How Thieves Get Your Information?

There are several ways that thieves can get your credit card information, and once they have it, they can use it to make unauthorized purchases or even apply for new credit cards in your name:


One of the most common ways thieves get credit card information is by “skimming” it from the magnetic stripe on the back of your card. This can happen when you hand your card to a waiter or waitress at a restaurant or use a self-checkout lane at a store. The thief can then use a special device to read the information from the stripe and create a duplicate of your card.


Another common way is by “phishing.” This is when a thief sends messages that appear to be from a legitimate company, like your bank or credit card issuer. The message will usually say that there is a problem with your account and ask you to click on a link, but when you click on the link, you’re taken to a fake website where the thief can collect your information.

If you’re ever asked to update your credit card information online, go directly to the company’s website and not through a link in an email or text message link. And if you’re ever unsure whether a website is legitimate, you can always call the customer service number on the back of your credit card to check.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a serious crime that can have lasting effects on your finances, your reputation, and your peace of mind. It occurs when someone uses your personal information – like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number – without permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can happen in a variety of ways.

Sometimes thieves will rummage through your trash, looking for receipts or other documents with your personal information. They may also pose as a legitimate company and call or email you for your information. Or they may simply steal your wallet or purse, giving them access to everything they need to hijack your identity.

No matter how it happens, identity theft is a major inconvenience. It can take months or even years to recover from the damage. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to prevent identity theft from happening in the first place. And if you do become a victim, it’s important to act quickly to minimize the damage.

Credit Card Theft vs. Identity Theft

There’s a big difference between credit card theft and identity theft, though both can cause financial damage. Credit card theft occurs when someone steals your credit card or credit card information and uses it to make unauthorized charges.

On the other hand, identity theft involves stealing your personal information – like your Social Security number, driver’s license number, or bank account number – and using it to open new accounts, make changes, or get a loan in your name.

Identity theft is much more serious than credit card theft because it can ruin your credit rating and cause long-term financial damage. If you think you’ve been a credit card or identity theft victim, it’s important to act quickly. Contact your credit card company and report the theft, then file a police report.

You should also contact the three major credit reporting agencies “Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion” and place a fraud alert on your credit report. Taking these steps can help protect yourself from further financial damage.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

When it comes to credit card fraud, there are a few different types that you should be aware of: 

Use Of Lost Credit Card

The first is the use of a lost credit card. This can happen if you misplace your card and someone finds it and uses it before you have a chance to cancel the card. If this happens, you will be responsible for the charges the person makes.

Stolen Credit Card

Another type of fraud is stolen credit cards. This can happen if your wallet or purse is stolen and the thief uses your card to make purchases. It can also happen if your card number is stolen in an online or offline data breach.

Account Takeover

The last type of fraud is account takeover. This happens when someone gets access to your credit card account and makes charges without your permission. They might do this by stealing your credit card information or by guessing your account number and PIN.

No matter what type of fraud you are dealing with, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your finances.

How To Report Credit Card Theft?

If you’re a victim of credit card theft, there are a few steps you can take to help mitigate the damage and protect your finances. 

  • Police: First, report the theft to the police. This will create a paper trail to help prove your case later. 
  • Credit Card Issuer: Next, notify your credit card issuer and close the compromised account
  • Credit Bureaus: Contact the credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. 
  • State and Federal Authorities: It is also important to report state and federal authorities regarding your credit card stealing. 
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Finally, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Taking these steps can help minimize the impact of credit card theft and prevent further damage to your financial well-being.

When to File a Police Report?

Credit card theft is a serious crime that can leave victims feeling violated and helpless. If you’ve been a credit card theft victim, you may wonder when to file a police report.

There are a few things to remember when deciding whether to file a police report. First, consider the amount of money that was stolen. If the amount is small, you may not feel it’s worth the hassle of dealing with the police. However, if a large amount of money was stolen, you may want to consider filing a report to recoup some of your losses.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you have any evidence of the theft. If you have a copy of the fraudulent charges on your statement, this can help file a police report. However, it may be difficult to prove that the theft occurred if you don’t have any evidence.

If you decide to file a police report, be sure to have all of your documentation ready. This includes your credit card statements, evidence of the theft, and contact information. Filing a police report can be time-consuming, but it’s important if you’ve been the victim of credit card theft.

By taking the time to file a report, you may be able to get your money back and help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Do Police Investigate Credit Card Fraud?

If you’ve been a credit card fraud victim, you may wonder if the police will investigate. The answer is: it depends. There are a few factors that will come into play when deciding whether or not to launch an investigation.

  • First, the amount of money involved will be taken into consideration. If the amount is small, likely, the police will not pursue the case.
  • Another factor is whether or not there are any leads or evidence to go on. If there’s not much to go on, it’s unlikely that an investigation will be launched.
  • Lastly, the police must consider if pursuing the case is worth their time and resources. If they don’t think they can catch the perpetrator or recover the stolen money, they will not likely waste their time on the case.

Why Does Police Rarely Investigate Credit Card Theft?

Credit card theft is one of the most common types of crime, but it’s also one of the least likely to be investigated by police. There are a few reasons for this:

Crime is Rarely Reported

For one, credit card theft is rarely reported. Most people who have their credit card stolen don’t even realize it until they get their bill at the end of the month. And by then, it’s often too late to report the crime.

It’s a Non-Violent Crime

Another reason is that credit card theft is a non-violent crime. It’s not like someone has been physically harmed, so police may not see it as a priority. Although, the reality is that it’s a serious crime that can have a major impact on the victim.

The psychological effect of having your identity stolen can be just as damaging as any physical harm.

Steps to Take After a Credit Card Theft:

After a credit card theft, it’s important to take quick and proactive steps to protect your finances. Here’s what to do:

  • Contact Your Card Issuer: You need to do it immediately and tell them what happened. They will cancel your card and issue you a new one.
  • Freeze Your Credit Card: Freeze your credit with the major credit reporting agencies. This will prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name.
  • Monitor Bank and Card Statements: Monitor your bank and credit card statements closely for any suspicious activity.
  • Change Account Authorization Settings: Change the account authorization settings on your online accounts to require additional verification for any new devices or locations.

Taking these steps can help minimize the damage caused by credit card theft and make it easier to recover.

How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Theft & Fraud?

Protecting yourself from credit card theft and fraud is by being vigilant. Here are some tips on how to keep your credit card safe:

Know the Credit Card Safety Features

When it comes to credit card safety, there are a few features you should be aware of:

  • EMV Chip: EMV chip cards are more difficult to copy and are, therefore, more secure. 
  • Contactless Cards: Contactless cards have a special feature that allows you to make payments without swiping or inserting your card.
  • Virtual Credit Cards: Virtual credit cards are another option to help increase security by generating a unique credit card number for each online transaction.

Monitor Your Credit Card Statement Regularly

Monitoring your credit card statements regularly is one of the best ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud and theft. You can quickly spot any suspicious activity and report it to your bank or credit card issuer by keeping an eye on your account.

Set Up Credit Card Alerts

One good way to protect yourself is to set up credit card alerts. Most banks and credit card issuers offer this service, which allows you to receive an alert whenever your card is used. This can help you spot fraud quickly and report it to your bank or credit card issuer.

do police investigate credit card theft under 500 dollars

Only Use ATMs Owned By Banks

When using an ATM, make sure that a bank owns it. This will help to ensure that the machine is safe and secure. Additionally, consider using mobile app payments instead of credit or debit cards. This can help to reduce the risk of your information being stolen.

Inform Yourself Of Common Credit Card Fraud Techniques

Be sure to inform yourself of common credit card fraud techniques. There are many ways that criminals can steal your information, so it is important to be aware of them. One way to do this is to check your credit card statement regularly for any unusual activity.

Use A Virtual Number

When shopping online, you can often use a virtual credit card number instead of your real one. This can help protect your information if the website is hacked.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from credit card fraud and theft. Remember to monitor your account regularly, set up credit card alerts, and use mobile app payments whenever possible. Additionally, inform yourself of common credit card fraud techniques and immediately report any suspicious activity to your bank or credit card issuer.


Can You Track A Credit Card Location?

No, you cannot track a credit card location. If you have lost your credit card or it has been stolen, you should immediately contact your bank or credit card issuer to report the loss or theft and cancel the card. Your bank or credit card issuer may be able to provide you with information about recent transactions on your card and help you determine where you last used the card.

Do Credit Card Thieves Get Caught?

Even though credit card fraud is a serious crime, thieves are rarely caught. In most cases, credit card companies can spot fraudulent charges and refund the money to the cardholder. However, there are some instances where the thief can escape the crime.

What Is Considered Suspicious Bank Activity?

Several things may be considered suspicious bank activity. This can include large or frequent wire transfers, deposits or withdrawals, changes in account behavior, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Suspicious bank activity can be a sign of fraud or money laundering, and it’s important to catch it early to protect your finances. 

Are You Responsible For Charges On A Stolen Credit Card?

If you report your credit card as stolen, you are not responsible for any unauthorized charges made on the card. Once you report the theft to your card issuer, they will cancel the card and issue you a new one. You may have to pay a replacement fee for the new card, but you will not be liable for any unauthorized charges.


So, do police investigate credit card theft? Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. It depends on the case and how much evidence is available to the detectives. If you are a victim of credit card theft, it’s important to report it as soon as possible so that the detectives can start their investigation. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to solving crimes!

Credit Card Guides