Friday, March 12, 2010

Protecting your credit

Protecting Your Credit

With recent incidents involving credit card fraud, we thought we would take a moment to remind everyone about steps you can take to protect your credit.

Preventing Credit Fraud

1) Always keep your credit card in a secure location.

2) Be sure to keep contact information for your credit card company in a secure location separate from your credit cards; this way if your card is stolen you can contact your company more quickly. This information may also be online or on your most recent statement.

3) Always carefully review your statement. If your statement is sent to your home address, make sure someone there knows what charges you made so they can be sure there are no illegitimate charges.

4) Sign up for online access to your credit card statement and check it even more frequently. It doesn’t take more than a couple of hours for someone to use your credit card information to make thousands of dollars worth of charges.

5) Secure your mail; do not leave your credit card statement unattended to reduce the chance someone may use it to obtain your account information.

6) Beware of scams; never release your credit card information to anyone unless you are dealing with them on legitimate business. Many scammers send emails claiming that your account has been violated; credit card companies will not send you an email if this occurs.

7) If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent your credit card company, do not give out your personal data; ask them enough questions to determine that they truly represent your company. For example, ask for the address registered with the account they are calling with, some or all of the credit card number, and other information which validates the person calling as a representative for your credit card company.

What to do if Your Information is Compromised

1) Notify your credit card immediately if you notice any charges on your credit card that you did not make. The sooner you notify the company, the easier it is for them to shut down your card to prevent further charges and to help you get that charge off your account.

2) Occasionally credit card information can be stolen from a credit company or from a business from which you have made purchases. Those companies are required to notify you and correct the problem.

3) Contact one of the credit reporting agencies; they can provide you with a copy of your credit report and put a fraud alert on your accounts:

· Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285. TDD: (800) 255-0056
· TransUnion: Call (800) 680-7289. TDD: (877) 553-7803. Fraud victims can also email
· Experian: Call (888) 397-3742

Some websites offering more tips include: