Recovering From Credit Card Theft
Need Help Recovering from Credit Card Theft? Here are some practical steps
All a person needs to open a credit card is a name and social security number. If someone uses yours, you may not be responsible for charges made on the card, but collection agencies may come knocking and your credit score is at risk. Take immediate action to mitigate any damage.
Contact a credit bureau to report the fraud. Whether you contact Equifax, Experian or TransUnion, that agency will contact the other two. Ask to have a fraud alert placed on your account, which lasts for 90 days.
Contact the card issuer’s fraud department. Say you didn’t open the account and want it closed. File a police report to move this process along.
Freeze your credit before the 90-day fraud alert expires. Permanently freeze your credit with each of the credit agencies. If you need to apply for credit during the freeze, ask the lender which agency he’ll be contacting, unfreeze it long enough to have the credit report pulled, and refreeze it once the application is cleared.