Restore Credit Rating After Credit Card Identity Theft

By: Wade Robins

If you have been the victim of credit card identity theft and you need to restore your credit rating because you have had your credit card or credit card details actually stolen, or because someone has applied for and received a credit card using your name and social security number, you may be at a loss as to where to begin.

First, you can take pre-emptive measures against identity theft as soon as you receive a new credit card. You should photocopy both sides of all your credit cards so that as soon as one of them is lost or stolen you will be able to report that it is missing and have that card account closed.

Second, you should never carry any credit cards which you do not intend to use, and you should have only the number of credit cards that you absolutely need.

As soon as you realize that your credit card is missing, or that there are unexplained charges on your monthly statement, you will have to assume that you are a target of credit card identity theft, and to restore your credit rating you need to stop the missing or compromised cards.

If someone has obtained your name and social security number, perhaps through mail theft, and used them to open a credit card account, you will also be a victim of credit card theft and need to restore your credit rating. But you won't know that you have been victimized until the credit card company which issued the fraudulent card actually starts contacting you about the payments which the thief has undoubtedly failed to make.

You'll need to prove that you have never lived at the address which the scammer provided, and that all of the other personal details that person provided are not yours. Experiencing this sort of credit card identity theft and having to restore your credit rating can be a very time-consuming, frustrating experience, but it's important that throughout the process you continue to maintain the payments on your legitimate obligations.

Contact The Credit Reporting Agencies

As soon as you think you have fallen prey to credit card identity theft you can start to restore your credit rating by contacting the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and asking them to place fraud alerts on all your credit reports. A fraud alert will be an obstacle to anyone who attempts to use your information to establish a new line of credit. For more info see on Identity Theft Statistics.

Contact the FTC And Police

You should notify and file a formal complaint with both the Federal Trade Commission, and the police in the jurisdiction where the credit card identity theft occurred, providing the police with a copy of your FTC complaint.

Taking these steps when you have been a victim of credit card identity theft and are trying to restore your credit rating will put you in a much stronger position to prevent whoever has victimized you from doing too much damage.

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