Avoiding credit card fraud is something all New Jerseyans should take steps toward as long as they carry credit cards, especially after the recent data breaches of major card companies.
If you’ve already become a victim of a scam or theft, here are some tips to help you protect your accounts.
Data Breaches Increase Risks for Consumers
New Jersey consumers always face the risk of data breaches by identity thieves and hackers looking for opportunities to steal personal data.
In early March, consumers around the country faced the threat of credit card fraud after hackers stole 1.5 million credit card numbers from payment processor Global Payments, a company that processes card transactions for major companies like MasterCard and Visa.
In that particular data breach, hackers were unable to access cardholders’ names, addresses or Social Security numbers, only gaining access to numbers. Of course, under the right circumstances, numbers can be enough to make fraudulent purchases that threaten the financial security of New Jersey credit card holders.
How to Save Your Account after Credit Card Fraud
While there are a number of steps to protect your accounts from credit card fraud, sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid becoming a victim no matter how careful you are.
Since fraud has such a significant impact on your credit, it’s important that you know how to save your account. Personal finance experts offer some tips on what to do after being a victim of credit card fraud:
- Contact your credit reporting agencies: Once you realize your card has been stolen or your account has been compromised, you need to contact Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to put a fraud alert on your credit report. This way, no one else can open accounts in your name.
- File a police report: Next, you need to file a police report if your wallet has been stolen and important documents were inside. This will prove your case with card companies and credit bureaus as you fight to save your accounts.
- Monitor your credit reports: Even after you believe you have your accounts under control, you could be in danger of future issues, which is why it’s important to monitor your credit to catch unauthorized changes to your information.
New Jersey consumers can also consider taking advantage of a single-use credit card that can safely discarded after one transaction. This is particularly useful for online purchases because if the credit card information is stolen, it can’t be used again.