If you believe you have received a fraudulent message or have been affected by a scam, please call us at 1-800-288-3425.
What to do if you're a victim of credit card fraud
Credit card fraud occurs when someone makes unauthorized purchases using your existing credit card information that they have stolen. It is often discovered when you have unfamiliar charges on your statement or the card's fraud department contacts you about some transactions.
If you discover credit card fraud contact the credit card company immediately. They will then help you:
- Verify the fraudulent transactions
- Remove unauthorized charges
- Close your account and issue a new account number.
You may wish to review your credit bureau and make sure that other appears out of order related to your credit history.
What to do if you're a victim of identity theft
Identity theft is a growing national epidemic, claiming about 500,000 victims per year in the United States. There are many forms of identity theft, some of the most common uses of stolen identity include:
- Gathering enough personal information to gain access to the victim's actual accounts.
- Leveraging the good credit score of the victim by using personal information (such as a social security number and employer information) to obtain a loan or credit card in the victim's name.
- Using personal information to obtain or access other services of value such as insurance, citizenship status, or even health care services.
What you can do
If you are the unfortunate victim of ID theft, there are many resources available to help you. They include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the three credit reporting agencies, and the fraud departments of your bank or credit card companies. Also, if you have purchased an ID theft protection program, they will have resources and advocacy representatives available that can be very helpful.
A few basic and important steps include
Act quickly. This can limit damage and give you good jump start to correcting any issues or problems before they get worse.
Contact all your financial institutions (credit card, investments, and banks) and insurance providers immediately and inform them of the situation. They should have ways to help protect your existing accounts.
Freeze any accounts that were opened fraudulently. This may even include insurance companies or utility companies.
Contact the credit bureaus to report what is occurring. They can help by placing notices on your credit report and by identifying other fraudulent accounts.
- Equifax fraud division: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com
- Experian fraud division: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com
- TransUnion fraud division: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com
Keep records of all of your actions to help with documentation purposes. They will help you remember important information as you work to clear up the problems.
Consider filing a report with the police or Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Visit FTC.gov or call 1-877-382-4357 (Consumer Response Center) for more information. If you file a police report, add a copy to the records you are keeping - it can be helpful when working with companies to correct problems.