This is a form of crime commonly associated with the consumer credit facilities more as compared to other credit facilities in the market. ‘Why is it though?’ That is the question probably ringing in your head right now. The answer is simple: the consumer credit facilities are very active and handle a very large volume of transactions, which create an ideal environment for fraud, undetected.
Credit report fraud alert
This large continuous volume of transactions makes you very vulnerable to credit report fraud. Other credit facilities for instance, mortgage credit, are safer as they have reduced number of transactions due to minimal activity. You can have maybe just one payment transaction at the end of the month thus, easy to track and notice any fraud attempt.
Credit report theft happens in many ways, all which are very hard to notice if you are not keen enough. An overcharged credit payment is a common scenario, when talking about credit fraud. This is where, you have a bill of $350 for instance, but you are charged $3,500. Psychologically, it is very hard to notice, especially if doing more than one thing at the time of payment or if in a hurry.
The cashier or the person receiving the payments will have excess in their float, which they will have to themselves. They go undetected, as their books of accounts will always balance due to the excess in form of credit payment. If you are not careful enough to thoroughly check your credit report, you may miss to notice the fraud and thus, you loose the money. At times, it is erroneous, but most times it is a well-calculated fraud action targeting certain specific credit consumers. If so, the fraud attempt becomes a federal offence, chargeable in a court of law.
Credit report identity theft
Credit identity theft is another form of credit report fraud, which is a more sophisticated type. Here, someone gets your credit card or credit card details and uses the information as if you are the one using. Especially with the high profile cons, they use the Internet and available technology to retrieve your access credentials and dry your credit cards.
By the time you are noticing, your credit report is full of activity, which you do not even know about. It leaves you with exceeded credit limits, zero credit balances, which the credit providers will come claiming. It is certain that this will seriously harm your credit score and you end up suffering the consequences. This emphasizes on the need to closely monitor your credit report activity, so that you can notice these credit card related fraud occasions.
Credit report protection
As a credit user, you stand to loose the most in credit card fraud situations and as a result, credit providers, governments, credit reporting agencies and bureaus have come up with measures to ensure that you get the adequate credit report protection necessary. These include, increasing credit activity surveillance, tightening of security systems, increasing the credit cards and reports access protocols, all which have tried curb the vice, but not 100%.
Some credit bureaus and agencies such as Equifax have come up with additional secondary services to help protect their clients. With the credit report fraud alert system, fraud attempts are detected and recorded in your credit report for reference. As the owner of the credit report, you are expected to see and confirm if indeed it was a fraud attempt or just an irregular action. To serve you even better, some of these companies even notify you immediately after the attempt, for immediate corrective action.
Other related parties such as the governments and credit bureaus may have advanced credit report protection, but the actual responsibility lies with you. At times you may not be notified of attempted fraud and only notice when you get your free annual credit report, which might just be too late. Closely monitor your credit report and avoid being a victim of credit report fraud.