Fraudsters in Minnesota are getting cleverer every day. Lots of people are victims to credit card identity theft. Here’s what you can do to mitigate the damage if your credit card is affected.
Step 1. Report the crime
The first thing you need to take is to report the crime to the police, your bank or credit card company, and other relevant parties. The banks will put a freeze on your accounts to prevent further damage. This will also give you time to assess the situation and understand how the identity theft happened.
Next, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This will help the authorities track the identity thief and bring them to justice. It will also create a paper trail that you can use to prove that you are not responsible for any fraudulent charges.
Step 2. Check your credit report for errors
Once you have placed the fraud alert, you should order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). Look through your report carefully and take notes of purchases you didn’t make. Then call the credit bureau to report any issues or disputes. You could get some of the charges removed that have a negative impact on your credit score.
Step 3. Take action against the creditors who approved the fraudulent applications
If you find that there are any fraudulent accounts opened in your name, you need to take action against the creditors who approved the applications. You can do this by sending them a cease and desist letter, demanding that they close the account and remove any negative information from your credit report.
You should also consider talking to an identity theft lawyer. You may need guidance through the process of clearing any issues with your credit card and bank accounts.
There are some things you can do to prevent credit card identity theft from happening again; for example, never give out your personal information online or over the phone unless you are dealing with a credible and trusted party, and regularly check your credit report for errors. Be rest assured that you can always fix the damage caused and repair your credit score.