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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft And Credit Fraud
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The holiday season is fast approaching and consumers are gearing up for their annual trek to the retail stores and to the computer to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Increased purchase activity may attract those people who want to take advantage of others, so there is no better time than now to learn how to further protect yourself from identity theft and credit fraud.

How Can My Personal Information Be Compromised?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are several ways in which someone can steal your identity. Consumers must be diligent when providing their personal information and try to protect their social security number and account numbers as much as they possibly can. Some of the ways thieves may steal a consumer’s identity is by physically stealing their credit cards, account statements, mail and purchase information; skimming by obtaining account numbers with a special device; and phishing by pretending to be someone that they are not to obtain personal information.

These techniques may be done in person, over the telephone or online, so it is in the consumer’s best interest to be as vigilant as possible when supplying personal information to anyone.

If I Suspect Credit Fraud, What Should I Do?

It is important to act swiftly to minimize damage if you suspect that you were the victim of identity theft and subject to credit fraud. You should immediately contact all of your banks and creditors to report the breach, explore the option of putting a freeze or fraud alert on your accounts and possibly close compromised accounts. In addition, you should also contact the three consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

Next, be sure to contact your local authorities and also report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. Be sure to also obtain an updated copy of your credit report and be prepared to dispute any fraudulent or inaccurate activity that may appear. It is important to follow through with these steps and do not assume that everything will just work itself out.

Don’t let identity thieves steal the joy out of your holiday season. Take the appropriate steps to understand how you can better protect yourself during this busy time of the year. The Federal Trade Commission offersa lot ofinformationon identity theft. You can also learn ways to improve credit scoresif you’ve had credit issues in the past, including credit fraud. Give yourself peace of mind this holiday season and keep your personal information as safe as you can. Happy Holidays.


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