We have described the top five things that you should do immediately after learning that your credit card security has been breached.
Identity theft and credit card fraud have become more commonthan ever, and everyone is trying to do their best to prevent their personalinformation and security from being breached. But you, as the customer, can'talways prevent a security breach.
For example, in April of this year, Sony'sPlayStation Network (PSN) was hacked. This means that the personalinformation of over 70 million members (including names, addresses, emailaddresses, and dates of birth) was given out. It's possible that credit cardinformation may have been breached as well, which would affect nearly 10million people. You could have been one of them.
Following are the top five things that you should doimmediately after learning that your credit card security has been breached:
1. Call your credit card company/ies
Report the breach immediately! All major credit cardcompanies have a number that you can call any time of day to cancel your card and/or get a new one issued.You can find this number on the back of your credit card, on your billingstatement, or on the credit card company's website. Be sure to ask the personyou speak with for his or her name for your records. Some credit card companiesprovide a way for customers to report missing or lost credit cards through theirwebsite, too. To further cover your tracks, send a letter to the credit cardissuer reaffirming that you requested your card be disabled, making note of thedate that the theft was reported.
2. Contact the threemajor credit reporting agencies
Next, you should call all of the national credit reportingagencies and inform them of the security breach. They will then put a fraudalert on your credit cards, which will help them to spot any suspiciousactivity. These credit reporting agencies include: Experian (888-397-3742),Equifax (800-525-6285), and TransUnion (800-680-7289).
3. Change yourpasswords and PINs
If you believe that your Internet banking password and/orPIN could have been compromised, change them immediately. Choose a PIN that'seasy for you to remember, and don't write it down! Choose an Internet passwordthat includes at least one of each of the following: a capital letter, alowercase letter, a number, and a symbol.
4. Report identitytheft to the authorities
It's actually a really good idea to report security breachesor identity theft to local law enforcement (using their non-emergency phonenumber, not 911), your state's Attorney General, and the United States FederalTrade Commission (877-382-4357). Having your report on file can help you dealwith any possible fraudulent charges that may show up in the future.
5. Become educatedabout how to prevent identity theft and security breaches
The United States Federal Trade Commission offers many tips onhow to protect yourself from credit card security breach. Visit their website (www.consumer.gov/idtheft) for moreinformation.
No one likes to deal with credit card fraud, but at leastnow you'll know how to deal with it if the time comes!
Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer and editor. Shewrites about a wide variety of finance topics including the best balancetransfer credit cards, lowinterest credit cards, and cash backcredit cards.