A credit card offers great convenience; however if your personal or account information is lost or stolen, it can also be a source of endless aggravation. PrivacyWise™ is a reference guide that helps you:
If you have been a victim of account take-over and see suspicious activity or unrecognized charges on your statement, contact your card issuer. The toll-free number of your card issuer can also be found at the back of your credit card.
Most card issuers contact the merchant on your behalf and reverse the charge(s), pending investigation. They may ask you to submit an affidavit of fraud. Under guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission and network agreements, you are not liable for charges you did not authorize.
If you are a victim of identity theft, follow the steps below.
Contact credit bureaus
Place a "fraud alert" on your credit reports by calling one of the three national credit bureaus. Fraud alerts can stop a thief from opening additional accounts in your name, and also contact you before any new account is opened or an existing account is changed.
Note that one call to any of the three credit bureaus will be enough to place your fraud alert. The company you call is required to contact the other two. Within twenty-four hours, all three of the bureaus will be alerted.
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File a police report
You should file a report with your local police station. Keep a copy of the report for proof of the crime. It can help you deal with creditors and file Identity Theft Reports.
Contact your card issuer
Contact the fraud department of each card issuer and alert them of your identity theft. It is important to also notify credit card companies and banks in writing
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC handles complaints from victims of identity theft, provides information to those victims, and refers complaints to major credit reporting and law enforcement agencies. The FTC can also refer your complaint to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces. To file a complaint, fill out FTC's online complaint form.