Fraud crimes are on the rise, and it's important to take steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and secure:Keep an eye on your account statements. Review your credit card statements, bank statements, and any other financial documents. If there is anything in those statements that shows a red flag, call the institution and ask about it.
In particular, if your credit card statements include unauthorized charges, you have the right to challenge those charges and to protect yourself against fraudulent spending. Place a fraud alert on your credit report. Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening more accounts in your name. Contact the toll-free fraud phone number of any of the three consumer reporting agencies (CRA) to include a fraud alert in your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three CRAs to place an alert.
That company should contact the other two, which will also include alerts in their versions of the report. If you don't receive a confirmation from a company, contact that company directly to place a fraud alert. If you're the victim of identity theft, remember that when dealing with authorities and financial institutions, it's very important to keep track of all conversations, including dates, names, and phone numbers. While you control your credit, protect your devices and accounts, avoid identity theft and other scams, and keep your documents out of the wrong hands, you can sleep better knowing that your information is safe. For existing account charges and debits, ask the representative to send you the company's fraud dispute forms. As you take steps to protect your information and identity, you'll become a more difficult target for thieves and may even stop them.
The legal procedures for challenging fraudulent accounts and liquidating credit reports are not easy to follow, and if the victim doesn't follow the procedure to the letter, they may not receive the necessary help. Part of my job is dealing with victims and their families; I witness first-hand the tragic effects of crime. It's important to be aware of potential fraud crimes so that you can take steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim.