4 Ways To Prevent Fraud From Ruining Your Credit Score

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With recent data breaches affecting more consumers every day, it’s important to make sure that security precautions are taken when dealing with both online and real-world transactions. Consumers need to be aware of data breaches that can affect not only their accounts in real time, but also have lasting effects on their credit. Thankfully, there are a number of things that consumers can do to protect not only their online accounts, but their credit as well.

Checking in with Card Companies

One of the first things consumers should do after learning about a potential data breach is call their card companies for any cards used for purchasing and asking about the expected effects in case of a breach. Most card companies also have policies in place for making and acting on fraud reports. It’s vitally important that even if no fraud has been spotted that the card company is aware that the consumer knows about a potential data breach and wants to protect their good standing.

The next step after contacting a credit card company is to watch for potential fraud on card statements. Watching for potential fraud and catching it when it happens is extremely important in establishing that purchases made were in fact unauthorized. Simply checking bank information daily goes a long way in reducing the potential for fraud, according to Mark Schulz of US News and World Report.

Changing the PIN Regularly

One of the easiest ways for consumers to keep control over their financial security is to make sure that their PIN numbers on their cards are changed on a regular basis. Because collected data is sometimes delayed in its use, changing the PIN is a good way to ensure that information stays safe without going so far as changing the card number (with access to the PIN, fraudsters can order duplicate cards and worse.) Changing one’s PIN on a regular basis is a smart way to ensure that even information gathered from consumer data has an expiration date.

Using a Secure Data Manager

Because many data breaches occur online, even a password to an online store can open up access to one’s up-to-date or recurring credit card information. Since so many things online require passwords, this can lead to easy breaches because of  relaxed personal security standards. One of the best ways to fix this is with third-party secure data and password managers. According to TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez, Dashlane and LastPass recently updated their secure password managers (which can also store financial data securely) to change passwords automatically with word of company data breaches.

Reviewing Suspicious Charges

Sometimes, if fraud occurs, companies who were affected will be disinclined to help due to potential losses. Because of this, it’s important to know that there are legal options for consumers due to potential negative marks on their credit reports. Companies specializing in credit report review such as Park View Legal deal with such cases regularly, and can help make sure that damage caused by fraud doesn’t affect consumers personally. By ensuring that security measures are taken both on and offline, as well as keeping tabs on fraudulent purchases as well as one’s credit report, consumers can save themselves countless financial headaches later.