Dealing With Credit Card Fraud

As you prepare to file bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to request a credit report from the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. Check over your report to ensure everything that’s listed is accurate. You may also use your reports to guide you as you complete your bankruptcy forms, ensuring that no creditors are omitted (LINK oops, forgot to list creditor). It’s also necessary to continue to monitor your credit reports after your case is resolved. You’ll want to make sure that accounts are showing as “discharged through bankruptcy” with a zero balance. Keeping an eye on your credit report will also enable you to know right away if you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud. This is a crime where crooks may use your credit card number to make purchases or take out cash advances. If this happens to you, you’ll need to take quick action, but you will get things back on track.


Types of Fraud

There are many ways that criminals can get a hold of your financial and identifying information. They could go through your trash, steal from your mailbox, use ATM skimming devices, or use the phone or email to solicit information from you. So be alert and take all the necessary precautions to avoid this.

There are several aspects or types of credit or debit card fraud. It could the obtaining, taking, signing, using, selling, buying, or forging of a credit or debit card that does not belong to the person. This is considered identity theft. This could also be identity assumption, when a person victimizes another for a long period of time. A related type of fraud is application fraud, where someone opens credit accounts in someone else’s name. They could do this by gathering enough information to completely fill out a credit application or by falsifying some of the information. Similarly, someone may participate in an account takeover. This means the person takes control of an existing account by changing the mailing address on the account. They report that the card has been lost or stolen, and a new account number is issued to them at their address. They then spend away on a fraud spree, leaving you to pick up the pieces

Someone could also commit fraud by using their own card to make purchases when they know they do not have sufficient funds to cover the expense or that the card is expired or revoked. People may also accept a credit card payment for goods or services, knowing that the credit or debit card is fraudulent in some way.


What do I do Now?

If you discover that you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud, either by checking your credit report or a notice from your credit card company, you’ll have some phone calls and paperwork ahead of you. Notify the credit reporting agencies to put an alert on your report, make a police report, and work with your financial institution to get these charges resolved. This takes time, but soon your accounts will be back in order. If you need professional assistance, especially if these financial difficulties have been a part of bankruptcy, give me a call.