Credit Card Fraud

Lori received a credit card in the mail from a company that had taken her name and address from a white pages directory without her knowledge. Upset about the unauthorized use of her name, Lori planned to contact the company to lodge a complaint. Before she could do that, her roommate stole the card and charged thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise to it without Lori’s knowledge.

The card issuer claimed that Lori was fully responsible for the purchases, while Lori claimed that she should have no liability whatsoever for the purchases.

Research government agencies that provide consumer credit protection or that regulate credit card companies, using your textbook, and the Internet. Based on the facts of the case and research, respond to the following questions:

  • If the card issuer sues Lori, who might the court rule in favor of and why?
  • Does the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offer any protection to Lori?
  • What ethical issues are raised by the card issuer’s conduct?
  • What can you do to protect yourself from something like this happening to you?

This type of crime is a great example of how credit card fraud can make consumers life miserable. Even if Lori is exonerated from the debt, it may take years to get her credit score back to normal.

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