Internet Fraud / Forgery
Fraud and forgery crimes are costly to victims in several different ways. They not only impact you monetarily, they also cost you time and can potentially damage your reputation effecting your ability to utilize credit when needed. The three main consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian), are required by federal law to give you one free report each year. The report can be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud or forgery, there are several steps you must take in order to start the process:
- Report the crime to the appropriate financial institution
- Complete an affidavit of forgery
- Report crime to the appropriate law enforcement agency
- It is highly suggested you place a fraud alert on your credit reporting
- Equifax: 1-877-579-5734
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
NOTE: You only have to contact one of the above companies; they will alert the other two. After this is done, creditors are required to follow certain procedures if credit is applied for in your name in order to protect you. This may delay your own ability to obtain credit. However, it makes it impossible for the suspect to ruin your credit. Please know this is a free service and it is only good for 90 days. After this time expires, please look into another avenue of having your credit protected further.
- Keep your information private and confidential
- Do not share account information or PIN numbers over the phone
- Do not keep PIN numbers in your wallet or purse
- Ensure your computer is up to date on anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection
- Shred documents that contain personal and financial information
- Do not allow people to remote access on to your computer
- Banks and credit card companies will not ask for PIN numbers or account information over the phone or through email.
- To exclude your name from the nationwide consumer credit reporting company list for unsolicited credit and insurance offers, you can call 1-888-567-8688. This will stop unsolicited mail for several years.