Credit card users who check their account activity online may encounter seemingly random $1 charges imposed by merchants, like gas stations or online vendors, where they’ve used their card. These charges are usually only temporary, and they’re designed to prevent fraud.
When you use a card at a gas pump, it’s common for the station to immediately submit a $1 charge to the card issuer for authorization. This is how the gas station confirms that the card is valid.
If the card issuer authorizes the transaction, the station lets you pump gas. When you receive your next statement, the $1 charge will should be replaced by the actual charge for the gas you purchased. If the $1 charge is denied, the station won’t let you pump any gas.
If you find that you have several of these charges from merchants you don’t recognize, it could be a sign of identity theft, and there are steps you should take immediately to help you recover. Alert with your credit card company if you believe there are fraudulent charges on your credit card. You should also notify the three credit bureaus and have a fraud alert placed to prevent additional unauthorized transactions from occurring.
About the Author
Cam Merritt has been a professional writer and editor since 1992, specializing in articles about personal finance and law. He has contributed to USA Today and the Better Homes and Gardens family of magazines and websites. Merritt has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Drake University.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.