How to protect youself against Identity Theft. Also what to do if you should become a Victim of Identity Theft .
Tips for Fraud Victims
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, you may find the following suggestions helpful:
Protect Yourself – First, make sure a security alert or victim statement is on file with all national credit bureaus.
Inform the Creditor – Contact each creditor with the fraud account and inform them that the account is fraudulent.
Document all Contacts – Make notes of everyone you spoke with; ask for names, department names, phone extensions; record the date you spoke to them.
Understand the Process – Each creditor may have a different process for handling a fraud claim. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected from you, and then ask what you can expect from the creditor. At the conclusion of an investigation, ask the creditor for a document that states you are not responsible for the debt.
Follow Up – Make sure everything a creditor/credit bureau has requested is received. It is always a good idea to place a follow up call or send a letter for confirmation.
Review Reports Regularly – Obtain another report several months AFTER you believe everything is cleared up. If a new fraudulent account is discovered, you know how to handle it. If your credit report is back to normal, you can feel confident that all issues were resolved as you expected. It would be a good idea to check your credit report again in six months and a year later.
Don’t Throw Away Files – Keep all notes and correspondence in an accessible file in case they are needed in the future.
Experian’s fraud protection practices
We strive to protect your credit information with the following practices:
* We drop several digits from each of your credit account numbers on your personal credit report.
* We do not display on your personal credit report the Social Security number that you provided to us when you requested your report.
* We build sophisticated fraud products to assure the integrity of our credit database and to protect consumers and creditors.
* We continually monitor access to our database with sophisticated software, so that if unusual activity occurs, our security and fraud control department investigates immediately.
* We work with law enforcement authorities to catch fraud criminals.
* We require a business to designate a permissible purpose under federal law before they can access consumer credit information.
* We follow extensive procedures to assure that we accept only reputable businesses as our customers.
* We build extensive barriers to prevent computer hackers from accessing consumer credit data.