If you find that you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud, then you should make certain you contact your financial institution in order to make them aware of the situation. From there, you might have to explain what charges you’re responsible for and which were made from a nefarious outside source. It might then be recommended that you put a freeze on your credit. This implies that there can’t be any new accounts made in your name under your personal account identity. Luckily this also means that your credit score won’t be jeopardized, you can lift it easily once the identity theft ordeal has been resolved, and it won’t stop you from being able to use the unaffected credit cards you currently have.
To start the process of freezing your credit, also known as a security freeze, you must first contact the financial institution where you believe the fraud has occurred. Then — either online, by phone, or by mail — you need to reach out to the credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in order to put a freeze on your credit. By freezing your credit files with these agencies, any subsequent request to obtain your credit report will be denied (so long as the freeze is in place).
By completing these steps to freeze your credit, you can ensure that no new fraudulent accounts can be made under your name, as lenders typically require your credit report first in order to approve any type of financing. Note that while your credit remains frozen, you’ll still be able to use your credit cards to purchase items or pay your monthly bills, so long as they have not been compromised as well.