When it comes to protecting your credit cards, companies are going to great extremes in recent times. Gone are the days where you simply got a phone call when you spent a great deal of money and when your bill is past due. Now, credit card companies are paying close attention to your account in real time. This is called credit card pattern recognition and it has been around for longer than you might think.
If you use credit cards often, you probably have gotten those odd phone calls or emails about your recent spending habits. Perhaps your credit card company noticed an odd spending pattern, or your first purchase on vacation in Tahiti. Any type of purchase that is unusual in the eyes of the credit card company can come under suspicion.
This is being used more and more as the criminals become more advanced. While the added security is a wonderful thing when it works, it can be a bit of a pain in the tail at other times. Imagine you are on vacation and you go out to supper for the first time. Imagine that you whip out your credit card and it gets declined for no good reason. This usually leads to an awkward conversation with the waiter and a long phone with the credit card company call to straighten out the fact that you are on vacation. That is not always so fun.
So, the obvious question is…are the security measures worth it in the long run? Continue reading Is Pattern Recognition a Fair Way to Monitor Your Credit Cards?
Have you ever received a letter in the mail from a store, service or bank that warned you that their security measures had been breached but they are sure that your information remained safe and secure? Did you take their word for it? Or maybe you did a cursory search of your credit or debit card statement immediately after receiving it just to make sure there were no unnecessary chargers. Checking for charges is good, but setting up a credit fraud alert may be even better, if not safer.
What is a credit fraud alert? A credit fraud alert can be set initially for 90 days. By providing a telephone number, during that time whenever someone tries to open a new account in your name or extend the credit limit to existing accounts you will be contacted. Don’t worry though, because you can put a code on the account which will lift the alert for legitimate requests that you, a business or a bank is making on your behalf. Extended alerts as well as alerts specifically designed for active duty military.
Extended alerts are recommended in the event that you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud. Those may last up to 7 years. You may also request an additional free credit report when placing an alert on your credit, with access to one free for the 90 alerts and two free available to you for the extended alerts.
Although they are crafted to last for 90 days to 7 years, you can modify or lift your alert prior to the scheduled end date.
Once your receive your credit reports be sure to look for:
- accounts you did not apply for or open
- information about current accounts that is incorrect (such as change of address or balance)
- unexplained outstanding balances, and;
- incorrect factual information such as your Social Security Number, names, address or employer.
You can place a credit fraud alert on your credit report by Continue reading When, where, why and how: Credit fraud alerts
Find out 10 tried and true tips for improving your credit score.
Continue reading 10 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score
You know the difference between synthetic turf and real grass, so what’s the difference between identity theft and synthetic identity theft?
Continue reading Synthetic Identity Theft: “Fake” Identity Theft has “Unreal” Consequences
Do you know your options for complete protection from identity theft? Take a look at this comparision and you decide which identity theft protection program is best for you and your family, IdentityTruth vs. Lifelock.
Continue reading IdentityTruth vs Lifelock: Which Identity Theft Protection Works for You?
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The majority of people think their identity is safe, but studies reveal that 85% of consumers are victims of identity theft. Most people believe that they are taking the appropriate steps necessary to protect their identities; for example using practices like shredding pre-approved credit card offers and installing antivirus or spyware protection on their computer however these practices may not be enough. Last year 13 million consumer identities were compromised. A 2006 report from the FTC shows that out of $5 billion in identity fraud, only 25% involved credit card fraud and only 12% involved new account credit card fraud. That still leaves several other ways that your identity can be used illegally, such as obtaining a job, being charged with a crime, mortgage fraud and many other types of identity theft.
Continue reading IdentityTruth: Is Your Identity the “Truth” and Nothing but the Truth?
LoudSiren Identity Theft Warning System promotes as a full service solution to identity theft. This service, by Debix, does many things for you, including; contacting credit agencies and setting up fraud alerts, acting as a middle man between your credit information and personal information, making it more difficult to obtain and misuse it ,as well as giving you, as a member of their system, $1 million dollars in identity theft insurance coverage. Read more to find out how LoudSiren can protect you, your friends and family from identity theft.
Continue reading LoudSiren Identity Theft Warning System Provides Emergency Services
Identity theft is a serious crime– not only to you and your family, but to your finances, your emotional well being and your future. Find out just how far-reaching the damages are to individuals and businesses.
Continue reading How Serious is Identity Theft?
As you periodically review your credit report, whether it be monthly or yearly, you may come across simple errors in information or incorrect reports of credit that you may have received. There are two ways to correct or “dispute” this information. One is online and the other in writing.
Read more for the step by step process, contact information and process on credit report disputes
Continue reading How to Dispute Your Credit Report Information