Learning that someone has opened a credit card in your name, maxed them out, and left your credit history in shambles can be very frustrating and annoying.
Since identity thieves may have the credit card statements sent to another address making it difficult to detect when someone has opened a credit card in your name, and the victims may not even know about fraudulent accounts until they try applying for a credit card or loan and are denied because of a past due balance for an account they didn’t know they had, here’s what to do when someone opens a credit card in your name.
Get In Touch With The Fraud Department
Once you know that Opens A Credit Card In Your Name, you should find out the name of the credit card issuer for the unauthorized account. These details are listed on your credit report. Immediately you’ve identified the credit card issuer, you are to contact the fraud department to have the account closed. The correct contact information can be obtained on the credit card issuer’s website. Note, don’t return a phone call to a number on your voice mail or one you received through email as it may belong to a scammer.
When the credit card issuer has been contacted, intimate them that the account is not yours. You may be quizzed by the issuer for further proof, like a police report or identity theft affidavit.
Note Your Liability For Fraudulent Charges
Since this account was not opened by you, you are not responsible for charges made on that card. But still, you have to take action to ensure you are not held responsible. You are to report the fraud on time, and provide any proof the credit card issuer is demanding.
Check Your Credit Card Report
Unfortunately, there may be more than one fraudulent accounts opened that you do not have an idea of. Thus, you are to check your credit reports at all three of the major credit bureaus, like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Check also for any other accounts that may have been opened in your name.
Complete an ID Theft Affidavit
This is voluntary but can help you be on the safe side and get fraudulent accounts removed from your credit report faster. The form also comes in handy if you decide to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. You can also provide the ID Theft Affidavit to your local police to help with their police report.
File a Police Report
If you can get the identity of the person who opened these accounts, you can have the person prosecuted. Note also, even if you can’t confirm the identity of the person, you should still file a police report. The police report will be vital in getting the accounts closed and removed from your credit report.
Dispute Fraudulent Accounts With Each Credit Bureau
Send also a copy of your police report and ID Theft Affidavit to the bureaus as proof that the fraudulent accounts are not yours. If these documents are not sent, the credit bureaus may not remove the fraudulent accounts from your credit report even though they are not actually yours.
Confirm the fraudulent accounts have been removed from your credit report. Once you get your credit report from the credit bureaus, review it again to ensure the fraudulent accounts have been removed. Report the dispute process if the accounts have not been removed from your credit report.
You have the right to file a lawsuit against a credit bureau that fails to remove inaccurately reported information from your credit report.
Make Extra Protection For Your Credit
Take more precautionary measures by adding a fraud alert or a security freeze to your credit report to better protect your credit from future attacks. Activate a security freeze, and have your credit report locked, which the business can’t check at all unless you unlock it first. Placing a credit freeze with all three major credit bureaus is free.