Credit Fraud FAQ’s

Understanding the elements of how credit fraud is perpetrated and the ramifications of these crimes will help you avoid becoming a victim yourself. Having the knowledge to keep your personal, sensitive information secure is a valuable tool in keeping your identity safe as well as your family. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding credit fraud, identity theft and ways to keep yourself protected.

[tabs style=”1″]
[tab title=”Recognizing Fraud”]
[spoiler title=”What will fraud look like on my credit report?” open=”1″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Most of the time unauthorized activity on your credit report will be easy to spot. If you see any open (credit cards, loans, etc.) accounts that you do not recognize, this may be an indication of credit fraud. Unknown credit inquires are another sign as well as unfamiliar addresses as places of residence. Any of these could be the result of fraud.[/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”What do I do if I’ discover I’ve been the victim of identity theft.?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]If you believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, immediately call the credit bureaus and have them put a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need one of the bureaus to do this. From there, you will want to get a copy of your credit report and investigate what fraud has occurred.  Contact any creditors that show fraudulent activity and request that a fraud claim be opened.  You can also file a police report at your local station. For more information, read our article here on credit fraud recovery. [/spoiler]
[/tab]

[tab title=”Fraud Alerts”]
[spoiler title=”What is a fraud alert?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]If you’ve been a victim of credit fraud, you can contact the credit reporting bureaus and request that they put a fraud alert on your account. This ensures that when you or someone else attempts to open up a line of credit, that creditor will be required to contact you by phone to verify that this is an authorized account being opened. Creditors aren’t required by law to call you, however most will abide with the fraud alert request. [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”How do I set up a fraud alert?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Setting up a fraud alert is relatively easy. Simply contact each of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, & Experian) and request that they attach a fraud alert to your file. You can also do this via the credit bureau’s websites and it should only take a few minutes using either method. [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”Will a fraud alert hurt my credit score?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]The act of placing a fraud alert on your account will not hurt your credit score, however the fraud that occurred may indeed harm your credit score if you are unable to resolve it in a timely manner. The only downside to opening a fraud alert is that you will have a short waiting period when trying to open a new line of credit so the creditor can verify that you are who you say you are.[/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”Can I cancel a fraud alert?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]A fraud alert can easily be removed by the credit bureaus, however you will need to submit it in writing and include your SSN, name, current and past addresses as well as DOB and phone number. You can mail it to the credit bureau’s fraud department where you placed the alert. Sending your request via certified mail is a good idea to ensure a record of it’s delivery. Credit alerts will automatically expire after 90 days.[/spoiler]
[/tab]

[tab title=”Credit Monitoring”]
[spoiler title=”Should I just monitor my credit on my own?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Monitoring your own credit is definitely something you should already be doing, even if you’re not a victim of credit fraud or identity theft. Accessing a copy of your credit report each month and looking for unauthorized activity is a good way to make sure fraud has not taken place. If you’re not so ambitious, you can sign up for a popular credit monitoring plan for a monthly fee and let a company keep tabs on your credit report for you.[/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”What does credit monitoring cost?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]The costs of most credit monitoring services range from free, to approximately $30 / month depending on the service and plan you choose. Some programs are more inclusive than others, so be sure to do some research and make sure you’re getting features you want & need for the price you’re wanting to pay.[/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”What exactly are credit monitoring companies looking for on my reports?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Credit monitoring companies use software that is specifically designed to detect irregularities on your credit report.  Any time an account is opened or a new item is added to your credit report, the service analyzes it for authenticity and if it appears to be suspicious, you receive an alert via phone, email or text so you can investigate further.  In many cases there may not be any fraud at all, and it may be a legitimate account that you opened, but the service will attempt make you aware when it believes there is unauthorized activity occurring. [/spoiler]
[/tab]

[tab title=”Identity Theft”]
[spoiler title=”How is identity theft different from credit fraud?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Credit fraud is generally an unfortunate result of identity theft.  When someone steals your personal information such as a social security number, bank account number or online password, they will generally use this information to open new credit accounts, take out auto loans or even apply for a mortgage.  Technically speaking this is the act of committing credit fraud.  Even if your information is stolen and nothing fraudulent is done with it, this is still a crime as well.  Most credit fraud results from a breach of personal information.  On occasion a wallet may be stolen or lost which results in credit fraud, but this happens less frequently than full identity theft fraud [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”What is aggravated identity theft?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Aggravated identity theft is the legal term for when an individual knowingly possesses, transfers, or uses the identification of another person, without their consent, in the commission of a felony violation. These specific felony violations can range from credit card fraud  to passport & visa violations, to wire fraud and more. [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”What do I do if I’ discover I’ve been the victim of identity theft.?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]If you believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, immediately call the credit bureaus and have them put a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need one of the bureaus to do this. From there, you will want to get a copy of your credit report and investigate what fraud has occurred.  Contact any creditors that show fraudulent activity and request that a fraud claim be opened.  You can also file a police report at your local station. For more information, read our article here on credit fraud recovery. [/spoiler]
[/tab]

[tab title=”SCF.org”]
[spoiler title=”Is SCF.org a government agency?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Stop Credit Fraud is not a government agency.  We are a privately funded website created to help create awareness about the growing rate of identity & credit fraud and provide resources for consumers & victims. [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”Does SCF.org collect any information from it’s visitors?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]We will never ask you for any sensitive information including social security numbers, credit card numbers or passwords of any kind on this website.  The only information we may request is on our contact form, and this is so we can better assist you with any questions you may have. [/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”How can I contact SCF.org” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#4573e8″]Currently we do not offer phone support, but if you have any questions regarding credit fraud or identity theft we encourage you to send us a message via our contact form or post a question on our facebook page so we can promply answer you.  You’ll be helping others as well with your question so we encourage you to contact us at any time.  [/spoiler]
[/tab]
[/tabs]

Post a comment