Fraud & Identity Protection

What is financial fraud/identity theft?
Financial fraud is an intentional act designed to deceive a person or entity in order to achieve personal gain. Identity theft is an example of financial fraud in which someone obtains a consumer’s personal information in order to conduct financial transactions without the consumer’s permission.

I think that I may have been a victim of fraud. What should I do?
If you notice incorrect charges on credit account statements, or if you receive suspicious calls or mail regarding accounts from sources you don’t recognize, start by notifying your creditors and checking your credit report immediately.

Now that I know I have been a victim of fraud, what’s next?
Immediately notify the creditor reporting the fraudulent data. Each creditor has a process for investigating your claim. In addition, you may contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the fraudulent data. In general, when a crime has been committed, it is a good idea to file a police report. Your local police department can direct you to the appropriate department and explain what information you need to provide.

How can I prevent further fraud from occurring?
You can request a security alert if you have reason to believe that information on your credit report may be inaccurate due to fraud. This is a special message that displays on the credit report and asks potential creditors who view your report to verify the identification information used by an applicant before granting credit in your name. Click here for state-specific procedures for placing a security freeze on your credit report.

What is an extended fraud victim statement, and how can it help to prevent further fraudulent activity?
If you find evidence of fraud on your credit report, you may want to add a seven-year victim statement to your credit report that asks potential credit grantors to call you before granting credit in your name. If you did not apply for credit, you can instruct the creditor not to process the application. This should prevent a new account from being established using your identification information.

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