Credit Card Study

General
What are Credit Cards
Advantages of Credit Cards
Applying for a Credit Card
Children and Credit Cards
Credit Card Terms and Fees
Credit Cards - The Right Tool for Merchants
Credit Cards as a Credit Instrument
Credit Cards Codes and Numbers
How Many Credit Cards are Enough
How to Select the Right Credit Card
Interest Rates for Credit Cards
Online Credit Card Usage
Risks of Credit Cards
Using Credit Card Overseas
Where to Use a Credit Card
Zero Rate Credit Card or Not

Major Credit Card Issuers
Wamu credit cards
American Express Credit Cards
Capital One Credit Cards
Chase Credit Cards
Citi Credit Cards
Diners Club Credit Cards
Discover Credit Cards
Mastercard Credit Cards
Visa Credit Cards

Credit Cards and Debt
Avoiding Credit Card Debt
Bad Credit and Credit Cards
Credit card debt consolidation
Credit Card After Bankruptcy
Credit Cards and Credit History
Getting Out of Credit Card Debt
Filing For Bankruptcy
If a Credit Card Issuer Sues You
The Optimal Credit Card Balance
Credit Card Debt Refinance

Credit Cards and Fraud
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud Protection for Merchants
Famous Credit Card Frauds
Famous Credit Card Law Suits
How Credit Card Issuers Cheat
Merchant Credit Card Fraud
Protect Your Card
What to Do in Case of Identity Theft
How Consumers Cheat

Types of Credit Cards
Business Credit Cards
Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards
Low Interest Credit Cards
Rewards Credit Cards
Secured Credit Cards
Student Credit Cards
Types of Credit Cards
Unsecured Credit Cards
Zero Credit Cards

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What to Do in Case of Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the worst consequences of credit card fraud. Identity theft, as the name itself implies, involves using a fake identity, or stealing somebody else's identity to make purchases or to commit various other kinds of crime. Unfortunately, identity theft is on the rise and it becomes one of the most serious crimes in the USA and all over the world. As with credit card fraud, you can't blame the Internet for your misfortunes, though the Internet certainly makes it easier for criminals to commit identity thefts.

There are many things one can do to minimize the damage of identity theft. First, the most important thing is that you must be aware that you have become a victim of identity theft or that there is a higher risk for becoming a victim of identity theft. This is the trickiest part – many identity theft victims become aware of the fact when it is too late – i.e. after the criminals have stolen and used their personal information. Unfortunately, it is not possible that you always know if somebody else is using your personal information but if, for instance, your wallet gets stolen and your credit cards and other documents were in it, you can presume that there is an increased risk of becoming an identity theft victim and you must take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Report the theft immediately. This is crucial to do as soon as you become aware of the fact that your credit cards and other documents have been stolen. Report the theft to the police and to the issuer of your credit cards. When a theft is reported, you are not responsible about any possible misuse of your documents. The case gets a little bit complicated, if you have a whole bunch of credit cards and you don't remember exactly which ones where in your purse at the time of the theft.

  • Freeze your accounts. When you report that your credit card is stolen, the issuer will freeze your accounts. This way you will prevent the thieves from withdrawing money. Well, you will also be unable to withdraw money until you get a new credit card or the money is transferred to another account but still this is better than having to pay somebody else's bills.

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Contact one of the three agencies that deal with credit reports and notify them of the fact that your card has been stolen. The other problems that arise due to identity theft are enough, so why risk getting a bad credit rating as well?

One of the difficulties in dealing with identity theft is that this is not always a tangible crime. In a sense, it is easier if your wallet gets stolen because then you know that your credit cards and other documents are missing. It is much trickier to catch that an identity theft has been performed on you when there is no physical evidence – i.e. somebody just steals your data and uses it later. One possible way to catch such a kind of identity fraud is to watch out for suspicious activity on your credit card balance. Checking your credit report at least once a year also helps, though a year is a pretty long period of time and many frauds can be committed before you check your credit report.

Dealing with identity theft is not pleasant and in many cases, especially when your credit cards have not been physically stolen, you might have difficulties in proving that you are actually a victim. There are known cases of fraudulent identity theft reports when the “victim” was actually the thief, so don't take it personally, if your bank, or the police officers demand proofs that you are a victim.