Home » Finance » Credit

Protect Your Credit

Aug 18, 2007
Identity theft and credit card fraud are among the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. It is estimated that between $2 billion to $3 billion in credit card fraud is commited every year. The ways theives are able to gather the personal identifications of the victims of this fraud vary. They include stealing credit cards, stealing from mailboxes, going through the trash of the victims, and simply looking over the shoulder of victims.

However, there are several steps you can take immediately if your credit card becomes lost or stolen, or if you find bills in your mail that you do not recognize or charges you did not authorize.

The first step you should take is to initiate a fraud alert on all of your credit card accounts. There is a common misconception that by doing this it will prevent you from obtaining any further credit cards or financing in the future. This is simply untrue. What a fraud alert will do is require creditors to contact you by telephone before any new accounts are opened in your name. It will also require creditors to contact you by telephone before making any requested changes to any existing accounts, such as increasing your line of credit.

To place a fraud alert on your accounts, contact any one of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

The credit bureau you contact will then contact the remaining two bureaus and all three will send you a current copy of your credit report, free of charge. When you receive these reports, look them over carefully. Note any accounts you didn't authorize or debts you don't recognize. Also check that all your personal information, such as name, address, and Social Security number are correct. If any incorrect or fraudulant information is found, contact the credit bureau immediately to have it removed. Then continue to check your credit report on a regular basis to insure no further fradulant activity is found.

After initiating a fraud alert, you should then immediately close any accounts you think may have been violated and submit an ID theft affidavit to the credit card companies in question. You should then file a police report with your local police department and also file a case with the Federal Trade Commission.

Identity theft is a federal offense with stiff penalties for those who dare to attempt it and are caught. By following these simple steps you can protect your credit and prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this very serious crime.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for a website that offersLow interest credit cards
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 176
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources