Have you received a letter stating your social security number, driver’s license number or date of birth were stolen? Or perhaps you think your credit card information was compromised. What do you do next?
- Cancel your credit card. Contact your financial institution. No matter what the details ultimately reveal, this is the first and safest course of action. Don’t forget to contact all businesses where you have automatic payments on that card. The good news is that cancelling your credit card shouldn’t lower your credit score in this situation.
- Be vigilant with your account: Check your account activity at least every few days and keep an eye out for any unfamiliar transactions. It’s especially important to look for small transactions which are not yours. It’s common for those with stolen credit cards to test cards before making larger purchases. If you notice anything fishy, notify your credit card company immediately. Fraud is a real-time crime, and we as consumers have to be constantly engaged.
- Pull Your Credit Report. This is something that you should be doing on a yearly basis but you should take special care to make sure to do it if there has been any chance that your credit card information has been compromised. You’re allowed to see your credit report at no cost from the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) each year through the site http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
In addition, if your credit card information has been compromised, you are also allowed to access your credit report for free to look for fraudulent activity. Once you get your credit reports, thoroughly examine them to see if there are any discrepancies or unauthorized activity. If you find anything, immediately report this to the credit agency so that it can be corrected.