Achieving the goal of attaining a good credit rating can be challenging. Even if you pay all your credit accounts on time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your credit will be good, substantial, or outstanding, as multiple aspects can impact your credit score. However, what do you do when you finally achieve the credit score you’ve been striving for and become a fraud victim? In this brief overview, you’ll understand fraud and the proper ways to handle it if you ever become a victim.
What is fraud?
Fraud is using another person without their knowledge to experience financial gain. There are many different types of fraud, including credit card fraud. Credit card fraud is when a person gains access to your personal information and uses it to open one or more credit card accounts, maxes out the accounts, and fails to repay them, which can leave a victim in a great deal of debt that they had no idea existed.
What do I do if I’m a victim of credit card fraud?
Experiencing credit card fraud or identity theft can be a stressful situation. Not only are you stuck with huge unpaid bills for items and services that you were never aware of, but you must attempt to prove that you weren’t the person who opened these accounts and used them. Time is crucial to stopping the white-collar criminals from opening more bank accounts in your name.
Contact the credit card agencies
Your first step is to contact the credit card agencies on your credit reports or on the letters you receive from credit collectors. Perhaps they will notice an error and proceed to remove the items from your credit report and stop harassing you about paying the bills. However, the credit card companies will likely “verify” that you opened the accounts and tell you that you’re liable for paying those bills. They will most likely ask you to file a police report and provide them with a copy before they can do anything.
File a police report
The next thing that you need to do is, of course, file the actual police report. You don’t need to be nervous about what to say, as the police officer will ask you questions and all you have to do is answer them honestly. The office will take care of the rest, and they should tell you how you can obtain a copy of the police report, which might take a couple of days.
Provide the creditors with a copy of the police report
Once you’ve received a copy of the police report, you must provide the fraudulent credit card companies with a copy of the police report. While the credit card companies are not likely to write off the incurred debt right away, if you persist, you can eventually get the credit card companies to write off the accounts. However, these may remain on your credit reports and negatively affect your credit rating.
Place blocks on your credit files
It will be necessary for you to contact all the credit reporting agencies and place blocks on any new credit accounts recently opened. If you want to open new credit yourself, you will be required to prove your identity, just as a precaution.
As you can see, becoming a victim of credit card fraud can be a very stressful situation for which there is no quick solution. It can sometimes take years to recover from credit card fraud, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening in the first place. Once you understand fraud, you’ll learn how to prevent it from happening for yourself.