Free Annual Credit Report – Avoid Fraud – Tips and FAQ’s

When obtaining your Government Free Annual Credit Report, you may not realize that identity theft is closely related to Credit Reports – so you need to guard yourself before you become another victim of the fastest growing crime in America.

There are many scams on the net that you need to know, have you heard about Triangulation? or how impostor websites will trick people into providing their credit card details.

Let’s have a look at some of the typical tell tail signs of Internet Identity Theft.

Credit Report - Avoid Fraud
Credit Report – Avoid Fraud

Bills and statements are arriving late or not arriving at all to your residence. Collection agencies or creditors are contacting you regarding accounts you don’t have or show charges for which you’re not responsible. Financial account statements show withdrawals or transfers you didn’t make. Denied credit or being offered less favorable credit terms. Maybe like like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason; and. Calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy.

Just how bad is identity theft?

Approximately 7 million people became victims of identity theft in the past 12 months.Victims now spend an average of 600 hours recovering from this terrible invasive crime.Once every 79 total buying spree. Identity theft statistics show that over 8.20 million Americans had credit card info improperly in the past year.Identity theft statistics prove that the average loss to a business is $4,800. Total businesses losses from identity theft will exceeded $47 billion in the last year. (Us alone)The average loss to an individual is 30 hours and $500. Total personal losses will exceeded 297 hours and $5 billion in the last year. So How Does Identity Theft Happen? Identity theft is all around us and so pervasive that it will occurs at all point of contact points we make when communicating with business. This includes the internet, any records, Mail, ATM’s and direct, like getting your wallet stolen or getting your house robbed.

Because we are looking at credit reports these kinds of crimes mainly operate on the internet.

One of the main scams is called “phishing“. It has become hugely popular. It occur when you receive emails from people posing as legitimate companies asking for your contact or credit card information. Some will directly ask you to send them a check.

Another related term for “phishing” – but a little more complex is called Triangulation is used because the scammer sets up a “triangle” consisting of three different victims.

The first part of the scammer’s triangle is victim number one point – or you the consumer. The scammer has somehow obtained your credit card information which the scammer will use in perpetrating the scam. This may happen when you are getting a credit report or using a credit report service.

You will go through a website and order the report – they will then mail it to you. But what you don’t realize is that they have purchased the report by using someone else’s credit card info. After they email it to you they will demand payment – this normally occurs through an email for – so don’t ever put your details into a form or a link to a website from an email.

By this stage they have taken you credit card details and will use it to by other reports for other unsuspecting customers and repeat the same procedure with them – you won’t ever be able to catch them as they move too fast – you will be left to pick up the pieces and fighting to remove the fraudulent purchases on your card – this will in tern damage your credit report and score. If you’ve been stung by.

Identity theft here’s what to do:

Firstly, Notify the fraud department of the 3 credit monitoring agencies. State that you have been a victim of identity theft and try and get an alert (you may have to pay for this). Then file a report with your police department, tell them all the details. Call the toll-free hotline at the ID fraud protection department on 1-877-IDTHEFT. This is the main center for reporting incidences of identity theft to the American government. Close the accounts on the credit report that you think were fraudulently opened in your name. If your ATM card, bank accounts or checking accounts , have been affected then close those accounts ASAP. Notify your local postal inspector as they have no doubt used your personal address info, you need to shut this address down and open a new postal box.Maybe your social security number has been used – contact the Social Security Administration to verify that your name and reported earnings are all reported as being correct.Contact all three credit bureaus, such as Experian, Equifax credit monitoring and TransUnion. Make sure you review your credit reports careful to make sure that no more fraudulent accounts have been opened. Make sure to do your homework when getting a credit report know the scams.

2 Cases of Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud

Twо people wіth nо apparent ties tо thе community, suspected оf buying thousands оf dollars іn gift cards using stolen credit card information, hаd thеіr alleged criminal activity соmе tо аn еnd оutѕіdе Sam’s Club оn Ken Bale Boulevard – thаt describes twо unrelated investigations thаt occurred 10 months араrt thіѕ year іn Bowling Green.

Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud

Thе earlier case led tо federal criminal charges аgаіnѕt Noslen Guerra аnd Julio Simon, а pair оf Cuban nationals frоm Florida. Court documents link thе pair tо $71,000 іn illegal purchases іn Bowling Green аnd elsewhere.

Guerra, whо wаѕ arrested wіth Simon іn February, hаѕ pleaded guilty tо money laundering, conspiracy tо commit wire fraud аnd thrее оthеr counts involving illegal credit card transactions аnd соuld gеt аѕ muсh аѕ 90 years іn prison whеn hе іѕ sentenced nеxt month іn U.S. District Court.

In thе ѕесоnd case, Jazeene Simpson аnd Ebony Turner, bоth frоm Georgia, wеrе arrested Dec. 18 аnd face charges іn state court fоr receiving goods bу fraud аnd theft оf identity. Thе Bowling Green Police Department, whісh led thе investigation, hаѕ contacted thе Secret Service fоr assistance іn thе case due tо thе роѕѕіblе theft оf $180,000 іn аnоthеr jurisdiction.

Thеѕе cases, аnd аvаіlаblе statistics, illustrate thаt credit card fraud, thоugh rеlаtіvеlу infrequent, іѕ а costly crime thаt leaves legitimate cardholders worried аbоut thе vulnerability оf thеіr finances.

Thе twо cases investigated bу local law enforcement арреаr tо involve suspects opening membership accounts аt retailers wіth illegally obtained credit card information аnd buying а number оf gift cards іn аn effort tо launder thе money.

A city police report frоm thе mоrе rесеnt incident states thаt police bеlіеvе аt lеаѕt ѕоmе оf thе cards fоund wіth thе women frоm Georgia contained stolen credit information.

The report dоеѕ nоt detail hоw thе information wаѕ obtained.

Officer Ronnie Ward, BGPD spokesman, ѕаіd thаt ѕоmе cases оf fraud involved “cloned” cards, іn whісh а person’s credit card details аrе copied оntо а bogus card.

“There аrе Internet sites оn thе dark Web whеrе уоu саn gо аnd buy а block оf card numbers,” ѕаіd Ward, referring tо thе part оf thе Internet іn whісh users саn engage іn illegal online activity anonymously.

Skimmers аrе аnоthеr method thrоugh whісh credit card information іѕ fraudulently obtained. In skimming, credit cards аrе scanned thrоugh а pocket-sized device thаt copies thе information frоm thе magnetic strip ѕо thаt іt саn bе рlасеd оn а counterfeit card.

Ward ѕаіd а mоrе typical fraud investigation involves lеѕѕ sophisticated activity.

“The mоrе frequent reports wе tаkе аrе ѕоmеоnе hаѕ tаkеn someone’s wallet оr purse аnd thеn attempts tо uѕе thе card аt а local business,” Ward said. “That’s mоrе common thаn ѕоmеthіng оf thіѕ magnitude.”

Relative tо thе total amount оf transactions, thе amount оf losses attributed tо credit card fraud іѕ minuscule.

Thе Nilson Report, а trade publication thаt covers thе card аnd mobile transaction industries, reported іn August thаt fraud losses fоr 2014 оn аll credit, debit аnd prepaid cards totaled $16.31 billion lаѕt year whеn оvеrаll transactions оn cards totaled $28.844 trillion.

In thе U.S., $7.86 billion оf card fraud losses occurred іn 2014 оn $6.187 trillion оf transactions, meaning thаt 12.75 cents оf еvеrу $100 wаѕ fraudulent, ассоrdіng tо thе Nilson Report.


Card issuers аnd merchants аrе absorbing thе losses thаt result frоm fraud.

Sonja Taylor, vice president оf security аnd fraud fоr American Bank аnd Trust, ѕаіd thаt banks hаvе tо bе vigilant tо ensure thаt cardholders aren’t unwittingly giving uр thеіr information whеn thеу visit аn ATM.

“We check оur ATMs еvеrу single day fоr skimmers,” Taylor said. “The normal customer wіll nоt notice thаt something’s bееn attached” tо skim а card.

Criminals whо obtain credit card information аrе lооkіng tо convert thаt tо cash аѕ quickly аѕ possible, whісh іn mаnу cases leads tо gift card purchases аt unsuspecting retailers.

“A counterfeit card саn bе put оntо аnу plastic,” Taylor said. “Even а hotel key саn bе mаdе іntо counterfeit plastic іf уоu hаvе thе rіght stuff tо dо so.”

Mаnу mоrе cards іn thе раѕt year hаvе bееn issued wіth thе information encrypted іntо аn implanted microchip rаthеr thаn а magnetic strip, а move meant tо mаkе іt mоrе difficult fоr fraudsters tо steal data.

Card users ѕhоuld gеt іn thе habit, though, оf monitoring thеіr transactions іn order tо mоrе quickly detect fraud.

“Every time а card іѕ compromised, wе hаvе nо choice but tо protect уоu аnd us,” Taylor said. “Customers rеаllу nееd tо lооk аt thеіr account statements аnd immediately report аnуthіng thаt lооkѕ suspicious.”

New Credit Cards Its Not Safe 100%

Credit Card Chips


By October 2015, many U.S. banks will have replaced hundreds of millions of traditional credit and debit cards, which rely on data stored on magnetic strips, with new payment cards containing a microchip known as an EMV chip. While EMV cards offer enhanced security, the FBI is warning law enforcement, merchants, and the general public that no one technology eliminates fraud and cybercriminals will continue to look for opportunities to steal payment information.

What is an EMV credit card? Credit Card Chip
The small gold chip found in many credit cards is most often referred to as an EMV chip. Cards containing this chip are known as EMV cards, as well as “chip-and-signature,” “chip-and-pin,” or “smart” cards. The name “EMV” refers to the three originators of chip-enabled cards: Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. EMV chips are now the global standard for credit card security.


With traditional credit cards, the magnetic strip on the back of the card contains static personal information about the cardholder. This information is used to authenticate the card at the point of sale (PoS) terminal, before the purchase is authorized. When a consumer uses an EMV card at a chip PoS terminal, that transaction is protected using the technology in the microchip. Additionally, consumers will be able to continue to use the magnetic strip on the EMV card at retailers who have not yet implemented chip PoS terminals. When the card is equipped with a personal identification number (PIN), which is known only to the cardholder and the issuing financial institution, issuers will be able to verify the user’s identity. Currently, not all EMV cards are issued to consumers with the PIN capability and not all merchant PoS terminals can accept PIN entry. EMV transactions at chip PoS terminals provide more security of consumers’ personal data than magnetic strip PoS transactions. In addition, EMV card transactions transmit data between the merchant and the issuing bank with a special code that is unique to each individual transaction. This provides the cardholder greater security and makes the EMV card less vulnerable to criminal activity while the data is transmitted from the chip enabled PoS to the issuing bank.


Although EMV cards provide greater security than traditional magnetic strip cards, an EMV chip does not stop lost and stolen cards from being used in stores, or for online or telephone purchases when the chip is not physically provided to the merchant, referred to as a card-not-present transaction. Additionally, the data on the magnetic strip of an EMV card can still be stolen if the merchant has not upgraded to an EMV terminal and it becomes infected with data-capturing malware. Consumers are urged to use the EMV feature of their new card wherever merchants accept it to limit the exposure of their sensitive payment data.


Consumers should closely safeguard the security of their EMV cards and PINs. This includes being vigilant in handling, signing, and activating a card as soon as it arrives in the mail, reviewing statements for irregularities, and promptly reporting lost or stolen credit cards to the issuing bank. Consumers should also shield the keypad from bystanders when entering a PIN, as PINs are vulnerable to cybercriminals who work to steal these numbers to commit ATM and cash-back crimes.

The FBI encourages merchants to handle the EMV card and its data with the same security precautions they use for standard credit cards. Merchants handling sales over the telephone or via the Internet are encouraged to adopt additional security measures to ensure the authenticity of cards used for transactions. At a minimum, merchants should use secure servers and payment links for all Internet transactions with credit and debit cards, and information should be encrypted, if possible, to avert hackers from compromising card information provided by consumers. Credit card information taken over the telephone or through online means should be protected by the retailer to include encrypting digital information and securely disposing written credit card information.

Original PressReleases

Credit Card Fraud: Avoid When Paying Online


Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Internet Fraud is one of the most common crimes in cyber space today. It can be as simple as being charged for a dollar online purchase and then the merchant using the card to charge other purchases. This is much easier for a thief than the old fashioned way of actually stealing the credit card and account details. It affects not only the card holders, but the merchants as well. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to fraud. As well as business, for example: some people may shy away to charging online and as a consequence business is lost to honest merchants.

While most countries have done their part in preventing card fraud, there are still isolated incidents of this cyber crime. There are several ways to avoid this depletion of your financial resources. Perhaps the most important way is by keeping informed.

Accurate Financial Records

Personal vigilance is one of the keys to prevent this fraud. Maintaining up-to-date personal financial records keeps a credit card user aware of purchases made under his or her name. Card issuers often send out the billing statement a month before the payment due date. This allows the card holder ample time to verify and dispute questionable purchases. Billing statements should be kept and filed for at least a year for reference. They should be shredded before discarding. In making online purchases, the card holder should be on the lookout for the secure sign (https:) in the front of the domain name listing of the merchant’s website. When a site looks suspicious, the purchase should not be made.

Online Credit Card Security for Merchants

Online merchants should also be aware of ways to avoid credit card fraud. Extra steps in the online purchasing process can be added to provide more security. Follow-up email is one simple add-on. Before pushing through the purchase, a verification email should be first sent to the card holder and will only proceed once the purchase is verified. A telephone call may also be made as part of the verification process as email accounts can be hacked easily by cyber thieves. There should also be efforts to invest in software or Internet tools to protect online transactions. The website should be using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Web protocol. This can be requested from the hosting company of the third-party website administrator.

Online merchants should also be aware of the “carding” technique where credit card thieves try to make small donations to non-profit sites using a stolen card to test their validity. Seeing small purchases made successively by just one credit card account will show online merchants that cyber thieves are using the credit card possibly in a suspicious manner.

Suspicious Small Charges

You should always examine your credit card billing statements every month to look for very small charges as little as 25 or 30 cents. This is a scam in which a thief will charge several hundred or more cards a very small amount, in this way the crook can accumulate a good bit of money without attracting the attention of the card holders. Report any small charges you can not account for to your card services and don’t pay them.

FTC can Help

In instances of credit card fraud, the public may seek assistance from the Federal Trade Commission at The Federal Trade Commission helps by sending these instances, whether online or offline, to Consumer Sentinel. Consumer Sentinel, on the other hand, makes its online database available to law enforcement agencies in the United States and overseas.

Avoiding credit card fraud does not only allow card holders to dodge financial hassles, but also to maintain an excellent credit rating. Security from this fraud starts with being informed. That is why it is important that you understand your credit card bill. Armed with the proper information, card holders and online merchants can effectively make preventive and reactive measures to stop online fraud.

Credit Card Fraud: How To Prevent?

Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud Prevention

Credit card fraud has recently grown at an alarming rate around the globe, with online transactions accounting for a high percentage of fraudulent purchases. In fact, online credit card fraud is expected to increase to an estimated $190 billion by 2014, according to financial experts. This is a worrying statistic considering the detailed research and efforts from major credit card companies such Visa, and MasterCard to prevent this fraud. Credit card fraud is typically defined as the purchasing of a product or service from personnel not connected or associated with the specific credit card making the transaction. Therefore the merchant is tricked into releasing merchandise or rendering services to a false identity. The growth of credit card fraud is still growing at an astonishing rate, and this is expected to continue in the near future.

With the statistics highlighted above, credit card fraud is undoubtedly a problem and dilemma within today’s society. Therefore this short article has been designed to provide expert advice and helpful practices in order to minimize the possibility of credit card fraud in the future. Subjects such as securing bank account information, keeping credit cards safe, frequently checking statements, and always verifying your visa card will be discussed. Other valuable tips include never giving your PIN number or bank passwords to anybody, signing the back of the credit card instantly, and never throwing your statements in the bin without shredding the content first.

The most common method used by fraudsters is targeting cards and credit card details, either in conversation, in offline shops, or via insecure online transactions.

As a credit card holder, you must never hand over valuable card or bank account information to anybody, which includes cold callers, unsolicited phone calls, or in e-mail content (known as phishing). Therefore you should always keep your credit card out of a potential fraudster’s sight, never write down your pin number, and always keep your credit card in a secure place.

Most Internet, phone, and mail order fraud happens because card details are stolen in the real world, whether it is a shopping centre, street corner, workplace, or at home. With this statement in mind, the importance of never letting your credit card out of sight holds even more significance. Also, despite the introduction of CHIP and PIN, you still have a signature strip on your card which should always be signed as an extra precaution.

The above paragraphs have presented advice on how to keep your credit card safe and secure. However similar to consultants, fraudster’s are experts in their field and can gain information from the smallest opportunity presented to them. Therefore you must check your bank statements at regular intervals, either online or through monthly paper records. Once you receive your statement, make sure you check the account for irregular and false transactions. If the statement presents these fraudulent transactions, contact your bank or card company immediately and inform them of this illegal activity.

As highlighted above, a high majority of credit card fraud occurs online; therefore the next part of the article will discuss specific details integrating this area. Increasingly when online transactions are utilised, most websites provide the option of signing-up to a payment scheme that involves a password. Two permanent schemes include Verified by Visa and MasterCard Securecode. By signing up to these specific offerings, you will prevent fraudster’s using your credit card on particular sites as they will be unaware of your password.

Other helpful tips include only shopping at secure websites by ensuring the unlocked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing at the bottom of your browser window. Additionally the retailer’s internet address should change from a ‘http’ to a ‘https’ when a purchase is made using a secure connection. Also you should only ever use a protected computer with an up-to-date virus software and firewall installed.

Different Types of Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud


Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is one of the biggest loss concerns in a bank. The frauds are usually performed by a group of people either using counterfeit credit cards to cheat unsuspecting merchants or in collaboration with the merchants to cheat the banks. This group of people who performed fraud is known as fraud syndicates.

Types of frauds

There are many types of frauds that have identified by the banks. To ease the efforts of fighting fraud, they are classified into various categories by their natures

1. Counterfeit cards

Counterfeit credit card transactions are one of the biggest fraud reasons in the industry. It make up about 40% of all money lost through credit card frauds. The syndicates used various methods to obtain card information to create counterfeit cards. The illegally created counterfeit cards will have all the information of the genuine credit cards in their magnetic stripes. One of the known methods used is card skimming whereby information contained on magnetic stripes of cards recorded into chips illegally installed into EDC machines or through wire tapping technology.

2. Lost or stolen cards

Lost and stolen credit card fraud formed 20% or the second highest fraud reason. In most cases, the genuine cards are stolen from cardholders in their workplace, gymnasium and unattended vehicles.

3. Mail order or telephone order Fraud

Mail order or telephone order fraud accounts for 10% or is the third highest fraud reason. Usually the fraud syndicates use shady telemarketers and deceptive internet sites to obtain credit card information from the genuine cardholders. In this kind of fraud, the three digits the syndicates need the security number or card verification code (CVC2) which is printed at the back of the genuine card to complete the fraud transactions.

4. Non-receipt Fraud

Non-receipt fraud occurs when the credit cards are intercepted by the syndicates when they are on the way to the cardholders which are usually by courier or registered mails. This fraud reason accounts for about 7% of the total fraud transactions.

5. Other fraud reasons

The balance 23% of fraud transactions made up of the following fraud reasons not exhaustive:

a. Fraudulent applications
b. No cardholder signatures
c. Unauthorized transactions
d. Invalid transactions

Traditional and Modern Techniques Used For Frauds

Humans are greedy; we all know that, but one thing we can never understand completely is the limit to this greediness. Man works to earn. So that he could earn his living and fulfill his basic needs. But what if he starts earning through illicit means? Then there are constitutional obligations which make him liable for penalties and punishments.

Nature punishes mankind in various ways for not abiding to its fundamental rules. Similar is the case with technology. In case of credit cards, people do manipulate the transactions to gain money out of it. Credit card is often called as plastic money. There is a magnetic strip over every credit card which stores the information about the card holder’s identity and his account details as well. There are various techniques of credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud is categorized into two basic categories depending upon the method of fraud conducted, which are traditional techniques and modern techniques of card fraud. Cards have made shopping very easier. Some of the traditional techniques used for cards frauds are:

  • Application fraud – people submit forged applications by providing incorrect monetary information about their bank accounts and income statements.
  • Intercept fraud – stealing the card, before reaching its final destination. That is stealing the card during post or courier transportation.
  • Lost or stolen card – most common style of fraud but the most difficult to deal with.


Credit card prevents the user form he hassles of carrying hard cash in their wallets, which is truly insecure. People often use their cards to make payments for their purchases where they are unable to make one time down payment. They can then pay the rest amount in various installments.

But there are swindlers and scam artists who manipulate the privacy settings of the card information and perform card frauds. Technology can be altered in one’s interest or favors by manipulating the in-built system.

As technology has provided ample knowledge to the youngsters about its origin and systems, it has made them aware of its use as well misuse too. Card companies take proactive actions to avoid such scams and frauds in advance, but even then there are possibilities of fraud and manipulation.

Modern techniques for credit card fraud are like:

• Skimming
• Fake or doctored cards
• Triangulations
• Credit card generators
• False merchant sites and site cloning.

Fraudsters abuse technology to produce fake cards to coddle in false card transactions. They use powerful electro-magnet to erase the details present in a card, and change those details to match the other card’s details. Fraudsters often create fake merchant sites. Such fraudsters attract customers by providing heavy discounts on purchases and after that, they ask for card information to verify the order. This way they easily get access to the card information of a valid customer, which can now be used as per their intentions.

The best way to avoid such credit card frauds is to stay cautious about your cards, just the way you stay cautious about your cash.