Suspicious activity or unidentified charges on your credit card statement could indicate identity theft. If you believe you are a victim of credit card fraud, you must act quickly. In 2014, identity theft accounted for more than 13% of consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Method 1 Notifying Your Card Issuer
1. Contact your credit card company. As soon as you suspect fraudulent activity, call immediately. Your credit card issuer’s toll-free number can be found on the back of your credit card. If your card has been lost or stolen, refer to CreditCards.com’s list of credit issuer contact information.
When you notify your card company, they will begin an investigation. In addition, your card issuer will contact merchants and reverse any fraudulent charges. You are not liable for any charges that arise after you report the fraud.
According to federal law, if you fail to report a lost or stolen card before it is used, you can only be held liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges.
2. Follow up with a written notice. Write a letter to your credit card company. Include your credit card number and the date you filed the report for the first time. If your card has been lost or stolen, include the date in the letter. If you discover any suspicious or fraudulent activity on your statement, include it in your letter.
3. Fill out a credit card fraud affidavit. A fraud affidavit may be sent to you by the credit card company. Complete an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit if they do not. This is a formal summary of the facts in your case. This affidavit will be required when reporting the fraud to the police and credit reporting agencies.
In the presence of a law enforcement officer or a notary public, sign and date the form.
Personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number will be requested in the affidavit.
You will be asked to report any information you have about the fraud, such as the name of the person who used your credit card (if you know it) and any other information you have about the crime.
Method 2 Filing a Police Report
1. Make contact with the police department in your city. You have the option of going to the police station or having an officer come to your home. Please provide any pertinent information you have about the credit card fraud. Be prepared to share personal information as well as contact information.
There are no fees associated with filing a police report.
Your credit card fraud affidavit will be required. Use the one supplied by your credit card company or the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit.
Bring a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s licence, with you.
Bring identification, such as a copy of your mortgage statement or a utility bill, to prove your address.
Please provide evidence of the theft, such as credit card statements or IRS notices.
2. Save a copy of the police report as well as the case number. Request a copy of the police report for your records. Your report will be assigned a case number by the police department. If you need to contact the police about your case, use the case number.
3. Understand why a police report is required. A police report is recommended by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The police may not be helpful in identifying the perpetrator of the fraud. However, filing a report establishes your innocence if you need to contest charges later on. In addition, filing a police report alerts law enforcement authorities to financial crimes in the area.
Method 3 Contacting the Credit Bureaus
1. Set up a fraud alert with one of the three credit bureaus. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are the three credit reporting agencies. You only need to get in touch with one of them. When you do, the other two agencies will be contacted.
Equifax Credit Report Assistance can be reached at 1-888-766-0008.
Call 1-888-397-3742 or go to the Experian Fraud Center.
Visit the TransUnion Fraud Alert page or call 1-800-680-7289 for more information.
The credit reporting agencies will send you a letter to confirm the placement of the fraud alert on your file.
It is completely free to place a fraud alert. It is kept on file for 90 days.
A fraud alert safeguards you by requiring businesses to contact you before issuing credit in your name.
2. Take a look at your credit report. When you place a fraud alert, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. To obtain your credit report, follow the instructions on your fraud alert confirmation.
You can also get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228 once a year.
If you have already received your free credit report, you can pay any of the credit reporting agencies to obtain a copy of your credit report immediately.
3. Examine your credit report. Take note of any unusual or suspicious behaviour. Examine your credit card accounts for unauthorised transactions. Notify the creditor of any unauthorised credit activity. When completing your police report and your FTC report, use information from your credit report.
Method 4 Filing a Report with the Federal Trade Commission
1. Fill out the online complaint form provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Choose the category of identity theft. Then, for your specific case, select the appropriate subcategory, such as data breach, lost wallet or purse, or identity theft. Follow the prompts to provide all pertinent information about the crime. Skip any items that do not apply to you, and provide as much information as possible.
2. Provide specifics about the identity theft. Give the date you discovered the identity theft. Indicate how much time and money you spent attempting to resolve the issue on your own. Submit information about the creditor and the type of credit account used. Indicate whether or not you plan to file a complaint against the company. Tell us if debt collectors have contacted you about this account.
3. Give details about the person who stole your identity. Fill out what you know if you know who stole your identity or used your credit card fraudulently. Please include the person’s name and address. Indicate the person’s relationship to you, if applicable. Take note of how you believe the person obtained your information.
4. Give details about the person who stole your identity. Fill out what you know if you know who stole your identity or used your credit card fraudulently. Please include the person’s name and address. Indicate the person’s relationship to you, if applicable. Take note of how you believe the person obtained your information.
5. Give information on fraud alerts. Indicate whether you contacted any of the credit bureaus and requested that a fraud alert be placed on your file. Take note of whether or not you have a complaint against any of the credit reporting agencies. Determine what information on your credit report has become incorrect as a result of the crime. Give details about credit inquiries that appear on your report as a result of identity theft.
6. Check your identity. Give us information that will help us verify your identity, such as your name, address, and contact information. Tell us how long you’ve been at your current address. If you have a driver’s licence, please provide it. Include your birth date and Social Security number.
7. In your own words, tell your storey. You can describe what happened in the document’s comments section. Please include any additional information that was not covered in the previous sections. In this section, do not repeat your Social Security number, date of birth, or any account numbers. In this section, you can enter up to 1000 characters.
8. Examine and file your complaint. Examine the information you’ve provided. Make any necessary changes. When you’re sure the information is correct, click “Submit” to file your complaint with the FTC. Make a copy of the complaint and save it for your records.
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