Free Credit Reports From All 3 Bureaus: Suspicious Activity
If you think you have suspicious items on your free credit reports from all 3 bureaus, you need to contact all three of the credit bureaus immediately because there is a chance that you became the victim of identity theft. Another thing you can do is ask the credit bureaus and your current creditors as well as your bank to place a fraud alert on these things once you find suspicious activity on the credit report. You want to record the names, numbers and addresses of the suspicious items that appear on the credit report so you can turn this over to the local police.
How Suspicious Activity Ends Up On Your Credit Report
One of the main ways through which a suspicious activity occurs when people need free credit reports from all 3 bureaus is when there is a credit card fraud and this is how credit card fraud happens. When a thief picks your pocket he may obtain your credit card and charge a lot of things on it. If you do not tear up your credit card statements before throwing them out, a dumpster diving thief can go through your garbage and locate your credit card account number and use it for purchases. There are also people who watch you enter your PIN number at the counter.
How Credit Card Fraud Hurts Your Credit
When you become the victim of credit card fraud, you get higher and hard-to-eliminate credit card balances that decrease your credit score greatly and this causes you to get turned down for more credit cards, home loans and car loans in the future. Credit card fraud may even cause you to declare bankruptcy if you have excessive debts that are nearly impossible to pay. Therefore, this should also be considered when managing your finances.
How To Learn More About Credit Card Fraud and Effects on Credit
The Federal Trade Commission’s website has plenty of information on how you can avoid credit card fraud and how to review your credit report for suspicious activities. Another idea is to talk to people who experienced credit card fraud and ask them how they rebuilt their credit following this situation. Local personal finance seminars also feature information on identity theft and your credit, and business magazines offer assistance on this topic.
Removing Fraud from Credit Report
To remove credit card fraud from the credit reports, you need to document all items on the credit report that you did not charge to your credit card accounts and also record unusually high balances on certain accounts that appear on the credit report. You should write any inquiries made about your credit that were not made by you or companies you applied for credit with a few months ago. Once you have all of the information you need to write letters to the three credit bureaus.
Monitoring Your Credit Card Accounts
Once a year, you need to gather your credit card statements and free credit reports from all 3 bureaus and see if the items you charged match. If the items do not match, you should contact your creditors immediately and find out if suspicious activity is on your account and credit reports. It may also be safer to get your statements through e-mail although you will still need to be careful for fraud. If you get letters from collection agencies that represent companies you never received services from, you need to find out if fraud occurred.
When you experience credit card fraud, it is important that you take action immediately so that you salvage what is left of your credit. Once you notified the credit bureaus and they put a fraud alert on the credit reports, it is time to start rebuilding your credit. Your best bet is to meet with a credit counselor who has experience in handling cases where identity theft is involved. Also be prepared to not have excellent credit for a number of years following the fraud. Get emotional support from friends and relatives and make small changes to your saving and spending in order to rebuild financially.