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Topics addressed on July 7, 2010:
Check your credit accounts for fraud after checking account is compromised
I just had to destroy my debit card because someone overseas charged over $1,200 on my card. What steps do I need to take to ensure they do not attempt to use my information in the future?
A debit card is tied to your checking account. Purchases made with a debit card are not reported to credit reporting companies, so the charges would not affect your credit history. It sounds as if you contacted your bank and notified it of the fraud, which was the right thing to do.
You also should carefully check all of your credit card billing statements to make sure they have not gained access to those numbers, as well. You should be able to check your accounts online for recent purchasing activity and immediately dispute any which are not yours directly with the card company. They can help you remove the charges and may be able to implement additional protections.
It is still a good idea to get a copy of your credit report to be certain the identity thief has not applied for or opened new accounts in your name. You can add a temporary security alert, which lasts 90 days, and get a free copy of your report.
If you find information that suggests your information has been used fraudulently, you should file an identity theft report with law enforcement and then have a fraud victim statement added to your credit history. A fraud victim statement will remain for seven years. With a police report, Experian can begin to remove the fraudulent information immediately.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team