If you've been a victim of financial fraud, you have three options.
Financial fraud is a devastating thing. Unfortunately, this is something that happens more frequently than we think, and it often goes unreported. Addressing the subject of someone using your credit card for financial gain is a sensitive topic. However, it’s your personal right and obligation to fix the situation for the sake of your safety and finances.
If you’ve been a victim of financial fraud, you have three options:
Option 1: Get the law involved
Whether it be applying for loans or accessing your personal banking history and accounts, your financial information could be used for a wide variety of things. Regardless of who is using your credit, you didn’t know about it, and therefore it’s categorized as a criminal activity. If you choose to call the police, your first step is to make a police report. Getting the law involved with an investigation will ensure that this won’t ever happen again. As well, whoever used your credit will be guaranteed a lesson learned.
Option 2: Work with your creditor
If you believe that a resolution can be made without a police investigation, speak with a financial planner or a credit councillor for advice on how to manage your accounts post-fraud. Not only will they give you professional tips on how to rebuild your credit, they’ll also teach you how to keep your money safe and organized.
Re-establishing your credit is your number one priority after you’ve been victimized by fraud. If you have unauthorized charges on your card, call the issuer right away so that they can freeze your account to prevent further damage.
Option 3: Pay the debt yourself and move on
The emotional components involved with credit fraud can make it extremely difficult to not only prove that it was a crime, but also prosecute someone for unauthorized use. If pressing criminal charges is not something that you want to do, you must protect yourself and your finances. Keeping close tabs on your accounts, staying aware of due dates and recording your debts and bills will lower your chances of falling victim to fraud again.
A purchase made on your credit card that you didn’t permit is an unfortunate act. There are initial steps that you should take to get your money back, and not to mention a few lessons to be learned along the way. First and foremost, obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure that all mistakes are taken care of and your numbers are where they should be. This will ensure that you won’t have any problems on your credit report in the future and your score won’t be damaged.