Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ANTI_FRAUD: Member Area Member Area:

How to understand your Credit Report
How to understand your Credit Score
How to interpret each section of your Credit Report
How to guard against fraud
Guard against fraud by educating yourself and taking precautions. With Credit Monitoring you can learn some common practices to protecting and maintaining your credit rating. Start here to learn the basics.

How Fraud Occurs

Skilled thieves use a variety of ways to gain access to your personal information.
For example, they may get information from businesses or other institutions by stealing it while they're on the job; bribing an employee who has access to these records; hacking these records; and conning information out of employees. Or:
  • they may steal your wallet or purse.
  • they may steal your personal information through email or the phone by saying they're from a legitimate company and claiming that you have a problem with your account. This practice is known as "phishing"online, or "pretexting" by phone.
  • they may steal your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice known as "skimming." They may swipe your card for an actual purchase, or attach a device to an ATM machine where they may enter or swipe your card.
  • they may get your credit reports by abusing the authorized access that was granted to their employer, or by posing as a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legal right to your report.they may rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or public trash dumps in a practice known as "dumpster diving."
  • they may steal personal information they find in your home.they may steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks, and tax information.they may complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location.
Once thieves have your personal information, they may use it to commit fraud. For example:
  • they may call your credit card issuer to change the billing address on your account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because the bills are being sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem.
  • they may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts are reported on your credit report.they may establish phone or wireless service in your name.
  • they may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on the account. they may counterfeit checks or credit or debit cards, or authorize electronic transfers in your name, and drain your bank account. they may file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name, or to avoid eviction.
  • they may buy a car by taking out an auto loan in your name.they may get identification such as a driver's license issued with their picture, in your name.they may get a job or file fraudulent tax returns in your name.
  • they may give your name to the police during an arrest. If they don't show up for the court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.
If a thief is opening new credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You can find out by ordering a copy of your credit report from the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. If you have lost any personal information - or if it has been stolen - you may want to check all your reports more frequently for the first year.
Monitor the balances of your financial accounts. Look for unexplained charges or withdrawals. Other indications of fraud can be:
  • failing to receive bills or other mail. This could mean an credit thief has submitted a change of address.
  • receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
  • denial of credit for no apparent reason.
  • receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
  • Minimize Your Risk

    By managing your personal information carefully, you can help guard against fraud.
    Follow a few simple precautions to keep your personal information safe.
  • Do not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport with you unless needed.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone. Scammers may call, posing as banks or government agencies.
  • Shred your receipts, bank statements, returned checks, and sensitive information before throwing it away.
  • Check with your employer, landlord, and others with access to your personal data to be sure that they are keeping your records safe.
  • Check your credit report regularly to make sure it is accurate. If you find any inaccuracies, you can dispute these items with the credit reporting agencies.
  • Protect your Social Security Number with extra care. Disclose it only when it is absolutely necessary. Don't have your Social Security Number printed on your checks.
  • Follow your billing cycles closely. A missing credit card bill could mean that someone has changed your billing address to his own.
  • File away a list of all your account numbers--with expiration dates and telephone numbers. If your wallet is stolen, you will be able to quickly alert your creditors.
  • When creating passwords & PINs, use a random mix of letters and numbers. Do not use information that may be easily discovered by someone.
  • Prepare for Travel

    Whether you're planning your trip to Las Vegas or Venice, including a few financial arrangements in your preparations will help keep your credit reports safe and your mind free of worries while you are away:
    Guard against mix-ups - Call your credit card issuers to notify them before you leave on a vacation, especially if you are traveling outside the U.S. If your banks and card issuers know that you are traveling, they are less likely to mistakenly block your access to the account when charges from unusual locations appear.
    Make photocopies of important documents - Having copies of your credit cards, driver's licenses and passports will make the replacement process much faster if you lose something important while traveling. Add a list of emergency contacts to this folder including the phone numbers of your doctor, banks and family members. Leave a set of these documents at home with a friend and store one in a separate piece of luggage that has a lock.
    Avoid late payments - Plan ahead so you won't miss any bill payments while you are away. Online bill payment systems now make it easy to schedule a payment in advance. A little preparation can help you avoid expensive late charges and unnecessary damage to your credit.
    Keep an eye on your credit information - Guard against fraud by asking the Post Office to put a vacation hold on your mail and by being careful where you use your credit card. Check the activity on your financial statements and your credit report(s) closely when you return to make sure they are accurate.
How to dispute inaccuracies and errors on your credit report
How to turn credit jargon into plain English

account reviews  - Inquiries made into a consumer's credit history by creditors, with whom the consumer has a current relationship. These inquiries are not included in the business version of a consumer's credit report.
adverse action  - An unfavorable action, such as the denial of credit, insurance or employment, taken by a creditor or other entity, affecting a consumer. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors must disclose the reasons for any adverse action.
adverse information  - Information about a consumer that a creditor or other entity considers a risk or unacceptable, such as a past due account.


bank card or debit card - A credit card issued through a bank.
bankruptcy  - A legal proceeding to give a person or business some relief from debts. See also Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Chapter 12 Bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
business version (of a credit report)  - An abbreviated version of a consumer credit report. The business version of a credit report is what creditors see and does not contain promotional inquiries or account reviews.


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy  - The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that provides for court-administered liquidation of the assets of a financially troubled individual or business.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy  - The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that is usually used for the reorganization of a financially troubled business. Used as an alternative to liquidation under Chapter 7.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy  - The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code adopted to address financial difficulties of the nation's farming community.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy  - The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code in which debtors repay debts according to a plan accepted by the debtor, the creditors, and the court.
charge card  - A credit card that requires full payment of the bill each month; no interest is charged. The American Express Card and Diners Club Card are examples.
consumer version (of a credit report)  - The consumer version of a credit report lists inquiries, such as promotional inquiries and account review. Only the consumer can request this version of their credit report. Creditors cannot see this version; they see only the business version of credit reports.
credit  - A consumer's ability to make purchases, obtain services, or borrow money based on his or her promise, ability, and demonstrated willingness to repay.
credit reporting agencies - A company that gathers information about how consumers use credit, which the credit reporting agency in turn provides to potential creditors, employers and others who have a legally-recognized reason (permissible purpose) to inquire about the creditworthiness of an individual.
credit card  - >A company that gathers information about how consumers use credit, which the credit bureau in turn provides to potential creditors, employers and others who have a legally-recognized reason (permissible purpose) to inquire about the creditworthiness of an individual.
credit risk  - An assessment of a consumer's likelihood of fulfilling the terms of a credit agreement.
credit score  - A mathematical calculation that reflects a consumer's creditworthiness. The score is an assessment of how likely a consumer is to pay his or her debts.
creditor  - Person or business to whom a debt is owed.
creditworthiness  - A description of a consumer's credit behavior and management that leads to a creditor's decision whether or not to make an offer of credit.


date closed - The date when a credit agreement or account was terminated.
date opened  - The date when a credit account was established.
default  - Failure of a consumer to make loan or credit repayments as agreed in a loan or credit agreement. See manner of payment.
dispute  - To question the accuracy of information in a credit report.


Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)  - The FCRA protects consumer's privacy by defining permissible purposes a business or individual must have when requesting a credit report; provides consumers with the right to obtain copies of their credit reports for free if denied credit; defines obsolete information; and declares that reasonable procedures must be used to ensure accuracy.
fraud  - Intentional misuse of information of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.


Identity  - The distinguishing character or personality of a consumer. Also includes any unique information about a consumer such as a Social Security number.
identity confirmation  - The successful verification of a consumer's identity.
inquiry  - An examination of a consumer's credit history.
installment loan  - A credit account in which the debt is divided into amounts to be paid successively at specified intervals set by the terms of the loan.
installment loan account number  - A reference number assigned by the creditor to a specific installment loan account (for example: auto, student, furniture, jewelry).


Lien  - An interest that a creditor has in a consumer's property that lasts until the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
line of credit  - Credit limit established by a creditor.


Manner of Payment (MOP)  - A series of codes or statements used to show the payment habits (prompt, delinquent, etc.) of a consumer.
mortgage  - A document in which the owner pledges his/her/its title to real property to a creditor as security for a loan.
mortgage account number  - An account number created by a creditor that is usually found on either the monthly statement or coupon book issued with the loan.


open account  - An account that is active, still in use, or is closed, but still being paid.


paid as agreed  - A designation on the credit report that indicates the consumer is repaying the credit account according to the terms of the credit agreement.
permissible purpose  - The particular circumstances under which a consumer credit report may be disclosed by a credit reporting agency in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
promotional inquiry  - An inquiry made into a consumer's credit report for purposes of a promotional offer.
public records  - Information that is available to the general public, including tax liens, court judgments, and bankruptcy.


retail card  - A credit card that is issued by a retail store.
revolving charge account  - Credit automatically available up to a predetermined limit so long as a consumer makes regular payments.


Score  - See credit score.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)  - An Internet security standard that is used to establish a secure connection on the World Wide Web.
Skimmer  - Skimmers are credit and debit card readers. When you give someone your card to pay, the card is run through an additional machine, which captures the information that appears on your credit card.


Tradeline  - Any credit account such as a bank loan, credit card, or mortgage.
Benefits & Tools

It's good to have a account.

In addition to your credit reporting and identity protection services, your membership includes many additional benefits and tools such as:

Fraud resolution

Our services are available to you if you become a victim of fraud.
Learn more

Guide to Disputing

Step-by-Step guide to disputing errors found on your credit report.
Learn more

Guidance for accessing other personal records

Get help with accessing personal records, such as your Medical Information Bureau Record.

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