Worried about how the recent data breaches will affect your finances? Follow these tips from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s blog to keep your credit secure!
- Check your accounts for unauthorized charges or debits and continue monitoring your accounts. If you have online or mobile access to your accounts, check your transactions as frequently as possible. Report even small problems right away. Sometimes thieves will process a small debit against your account and return to take more if the first smaller debit goes through. Fraudulent account activity might occur many months after the breach;
- Contact your financial institution or card provider immediately if you suspect an unauthorized debit or charge. If a thief charges items to your account, you should cancel the card and have it replaced before more transactions come through. Consider changing the PIN to be safe; and
- Know when to ignore anyone attempting to “verify” account information by phone or email. This could be a common scam, often referred to as “phishing,” to steal account information. Credit unions and other financial institutions never ask for account information through phone calls or emails they initiate. Reliable sources of contact information for your card provider include the customer service number or web address listed on your bank or credit card statement or the back of your card.
Other points to remember:
- Under federal law, credit card holders who had their account information stolen, but not the physical card, are not responsible for unauthorized charges.
- For debit cards, if an unauthorized transaction appears on a statement, but the card or PIN has not been lost or stolen, under federal law consumers will not be liable for the debit if it is reported it within 60 days after the account statement is sent.
- If a PIN or physical card has been lost or stolen, the time to report is two business days, in order to limit liability to no more than $50 of unauthorized charges, which is why reports need to be submitted as soon as the discovery is made.
- Unauthorized charges that go unreported for more than 60 days could result in money and future charges made by the same person being lost.
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