Steps to Take Should You Become a Fraud Victim

by : Adam Goldman

While having a credit card can be liberating, being a fraud victim can certainly max out your credit card limit, give you a bad credit rating and at the same time cause you to lose your rights to low APR rates. Therefore, the moment you find out you are a victim of fraud, you must act quickly and take the following steps:

Contact your credit card company and banks

You should always have the phone number of your credit card provider at hand in the event of credit card theft or forgery. The company can then freeze your credit card access instantly, thereby cutting their losses as well as yours. Normally, you will just have to make a minimum payment of probably $50 to cover any amount that has been charged to your card in between the time you discover your loss, till the time you report it.

Lodge a police report

A copy of your police report is a requirement to verify the crime that has been committed against you. This police report will aid in any financial requests made to your bank, insurance company or credit card companies. Even though certain officials may put down this loss as a minimum-impact crime as you may have not lost anything yet, you have to remember that you could be affected in the long term.

Close any affected accounts

It is important to close any accounts that are accessible by your credit card(s) and open new accounts. Always close the account at your own request. Try to avoid stating 'credit card stolen' as the reason for closing your account as this will show irresponsibility on your side and would reflect badly in your credit report. Closing your account will also avoid further disputes with unauthorized purchases made to your card.

Contact the Credit Bureau

Report the loss of your credit card and request for your account to be flagged to avoid unauthorized access. Be sure to contact the fraud unit of any of the three credit reporting companies: Trans Union, Equifax and Experian and notify them of your loss. You should also request for a credit report periodically to detect any activity in your credit history that has been made without your knowledge.