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There’s A Strange Transaction That You Don’t Recognise On Your Statement – How Do You Deal With That?

Streaming subscriptions, grocery shopping, click and collect. There are so many ways now that your card or bank details can be used online to pay for goods and services. Those details may be stored by retailers, and the data that those retailers possess may be in danger of being breached.

That’s an ongoing risk of being an online shopper – the fear that somehow your card details will be leaked, or that a fraudulent transaction will appear on your bank statement. It might seem scary, but most banks and credit card companies have measures in place to ensure that you’ll be protected from breaches like that.

So what if you find yourself facing transactions that you certainly did not make on your bank statement? Here are some important steps that you should take immediately.

Call Your Card Provider Immediately

Most of the time, banks and card providers will notify you if they happen to notice something amiss with your account transactions. However, if the spending is in line with your usual habits, it might slip through the cracks by them. Notify your provider immediately when you discover the fraudulent activity, as this will prompt them to investigate the breach and issue you a new card.

Change Your Passwords

Be sure to review all of your financial accounts and change the passwords and pins for your bank accounts and cards. This should assist in keeping your accounts secure and away from the breach.

Monitor Your Card Statements & Credit Reports

Keep an eye on your transactions and statements for a few months after the fraud or breach occurs – it can take time for the charges to appear. You may then be able to approach the breach and resolve it without it impacting your credit score or your bank account.

Check Your Online Shopping Accounts

If the breach has occurred as a result of fraudulent activity with a card, it can be best to remove the card (and any stored cards) from your online shopping accounts in case they are no longer secure.

While anybody can be a victim of fraudulent transactions, nobody has to have their life or even their day ruined as a result of it. You can also help to keep your accounts safe and secure with strong passwords and regular monitoring.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier