Even though theft through technology is on the rise, some thieves still do it the old-fashioned way. In the past few months the Virginian-Pilot has reported several fraudulent credit card purchases in Hampton Roads. Suspects have been stealing wallets/purses and going on shopping sprees. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help protect yourself:
Never leave your purse or wallet in your car, especially not in plain sight. Hide them in the trunk if you must leave them and always lock your car, even when it’s in your own driveway. Don’t put your purse down and wander away from it. Women, think of all the times grocery shopping you place your purse in the cart, and then go just a few feet down the aisle to grab something.
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There are a few things you can do immediately to minimize the risk. Having “see ID” on the back of all credit and debit cards could help to lower fraudulent use. Keep in mind many stores allow you to swipe your own card without showing the cashier the card or ID. Know exactly what cards you have in your wallet and have the phone numbers programmed into your phone so you can call and cancel each card as soon as you realize it is missing. For ATM or debit cards, close those accounts immediately. Call each of the credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert with them (though they are supposed to convey the information to each other, we recommend contacting each of them to ensure it is done properly). Contact the DMV and have it place a lost/stolen warning on your file. Always report theft to the local police and retain a copy of the report. As always, closely monitor bank accounts and credit cards for fraudulent use.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to review your credit report errors and how to have them corrected, please feel free to contact our office at (888) 691-9319.