A PROJECT OF THE County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

Stolen Credit Card

If you believe there are fraudulent charges on your credit report or credit statement, you can add a fraud alert message to your credit report to help protect your credit information. Fraud alert messages notify potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your information without your consent.

How Can I Protect Myself?

If you believe you are a victim of fraud, these tips are helpful: Protect Yourself - First, make sure a security alert or victim statement is on file with all national credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). Inform the Creditor - Contact each creditor with the fraud account and inform them that the account is fraudulent.

Document all Contacts - Make notes of everyone you spoke with; ask for names, department names, phone extensions; record the date you spoke to them. Understand the Process - Each creditor may have a different process for handling a fraud claim. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected from you, and then ask what you can expect from the creditor. At the conclusion of an investigation, ask the creditor for a document that states you are not responsible for the debt.

Follow Up - Make sure everything a creditor/credit bureau has requested is received. It is always a good idea to place a follow up call or send a letter for confirmation. Review Reports Regularly - Obtain another report several months AFTER you believe everything is cleared up. If a new fraudulent account is discovered, you know how to handle it. If your credit report is back to normal, you can feel confident that all issues were resolved as you expected. It would be a good idea to check your credit report again in six months and a year later.

Don't Throw Away Files - Keep all notes and correspondence in an accessible file in case they are needed in the future.