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Steps to Take if Your Credit Card Information has been Compromised

Steps to Take if Your Credit Card Information has been Compromised

Credit cards are definitely a convenient way to make a purchase.  However, with that convenience sometimes comes more risk.  Once a credit card is swiped or entered online, the data on that card is then transferred and/or stored electronically with computers.  This transfer/storage of information, if not made thoroughly secure, can be accessed by hackers.  Thus was the case back in November and December 2013 when Target reported a massive security breach at each of its 1,800 stores.  So what can you do if you fall victim to credit card fraud?  Here are some steps to follow that could help you if you ever fall victim to credit card fraud.

Update accounts that use your credit card information. When making purchases or paying bills online, many places store your credit card information in their database.  If the bank or credit card company issues you a new credit or debit card, be sure to login and update your account with your new payment information to assure any scheduled bill payments you had setup on your card are still made to prevent another issue of late or missed payments.

Check your Credit Report. Even if you don’t notice fraudulent charges on your account, it’s still a good idea to check your Credit Report.  Each credit-reporting agency (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) is required to give you one free credit report per year.  You can request a different one about every 4 months to ensure you are staying on top of any questionable activity.  If you do notice information on your report that is inaccurate, contact the credit-reporting agency right away to resolve the discrepancy.  In addition to offering you a credit report, these reporting agencies also offer additional protection such as placing security freezes on your account and issuing fraud alerts.

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