Credit Card Fraud
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) indicates: Credit and charge card fraud costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. While theft is the most obvious form of fraud, it can occur in other ways. For example, someone may use your card number without your knowledge.How can others get your credit card information?
The FTC also indicates some precautions concerning your credit cards.Do:
- Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet, in a zippered compartment, a business card holder, or another small pouch.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
- Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
- Void incorrect receipts.
- Destroy carbons.
- Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
- Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
- Lend your card(s) to anyone.
- Leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
- Give out your account number over the phone unless you're making the call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
Protect yourself while you make on-line purchases!
Learn how to protect yourself and your family today. Even though you cannot ever be fully immune, there are steps that you can take to greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Identity Theft Costs Americans over 5 Billion Dollars a year, affecting approximately 4.7% of the population with an average loss per victim of $10,000.
Packed full of information, this book is a must read for everyone. Complete with a special section for victims to direct them to the help resources they most need.
How to Commit Identity Theft
The documents typically used to gather information to construct a fraudulent identity include:
How easy is it to get false ID, steal the numbers that identity you, and commit credit card fraud?A lot easier than you might think. There are traditional ways of acquiring your financial information:
- Stealing your wallet or purse
- Accessing your credit report by posing as an employer, loan officer or landlord
- Stealing mail from mailboxes to obtain credit card statements, bank statements, or other personal information
- Taking trash bags from the street with old credit card and
- "Dumpster diving" into trash bins to retrieve financial statements
But today hundreds of databases already exist that contain detailed information about your personal life, your buying habits and other lifestyle characteristics.
Various companies offer services that provide address, criminal, civil, and professional history as well as a list of assets and bank account numbers. Also available are your Social Security number, last six addresses, current phone number and names and phone numbers of neighbors. Some large, prestigious companies offering such information include Lexis-Nexis and West Publishing Company. Many smaller companies also provide similar services.
Identity theft is getting easier and faster. Today, you can steal someone's wallet or purse--or find the right database on the Internet. This information is available in minutes with only a few click of your mouse. Here are economical products that can quickly uncover personal details.
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Problems You Can Encounter
My wallet was stolen in December 1998. There’s been no end to the problems I’ve faced since then. The thieves used my identity to write checks, use a debit card, open a bank account with a line of credit, open credit accounts with several stores, obtain cell phones and run up huge bills, print fraudulent checks on a personal computer bearing my name, and more. I’ve spent the last two years trying to repair my credit report (a very frustrating process) and have suffered the ill effects of having a marred credit history. I’ve recently been denied a student loan because of inaccurate information on my credit report.
From a consumer complaint to the FTC, February 22, 2001
I’m tired of the hours I’ve spent on the phone and all the faxing I’ve had to do. When will it be over?
From a consumer complaint to the FTC, March 13, 2001
Tomorrow is Sunday so we won’t get any notices, but I’m not looking forward to Monday’s mail.
From a consumer complaint to the FTC, November 13, 2001
How can someone commit identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission explains how identity theft is committed: By co-opting your name, Social Security number, credit card number, or some other piece of your personal information for their own use. In short, identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft.Once identity theft is committed, then what? Once identity thieves fake your identity, they:
- Open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. When they use the credit card and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
- Call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, change the mailing address on your credit card account. Then, your impostor runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, you may not immediately realize there's a problem.
- Establish cellular phone service in your name.
- Open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.