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What to Do If Someone Applies For a Credit Card in Your Name | Steps to Take!

Discovering someone opened a credit card in your name can be the worst financial experience to endure, and it's quite stressful. Well, there are steps to take and deal with these identity thieves thoroughly. And it starts from the very first beginning. We've discussed what to do if someone applies for a credit card in your name below.

Key Takeaways

  • Check your credit reports occasionally so that you keep the accounts in check.
  • Call and request a fraud alert by contacting three main credit bureaus.
  • Report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and you'll get a free credit freeze.
  • Make sure to set up strong passwords and multi factor authentication on your accounts.

What to Do If Someone Applies For a Credit Card in Your Name: Steps to Take

a man on the phone holding a credit card in his hand

When someone applies for a credit card in your name, that's identity theft. Here are steps to take if someone opens a credit card using your personal information:

  1. Contact the Credit Card Issuer's Fraud Department

Identity theft is a serious global issue, and with the advent of the internet, its frequency has surged immensely in the past few decades. 

When you look at the most common types of credit card fraud, one of them is people applying for a new account with the victim's information.

Once you discover that your name has been used to apply for a credit card, let the credit card issuer know that the account is not genuine and the possibility of identity theft immediately. Fraudsters are crafty and will even send an email that looks like what to expect from a credit card issuer, what is known as a phishing scam. 

Resist the urge to reply to such an email, but instead, visit the issuer's website and call the customer service number provided. It's advisable to keep the recordings of your conversation with the customer care representative.

Go ahead and ask the issuer to close the account. Let them investigate the credit card fraud and keep away the fraudulent individual from hurting your credit scores and reputation.  

If the issuer doesn't close the account before the credit card fraud investigation, ask them to at least put a security freeze not to incur new charges. 

2. Report the Identity Theft 

Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Filling out an identity theft report will successfully document the incident and help you get a free credit freeze. 

The report will help document you are a victim of fraud to your credit card issuers and credit bureaus. It is wise to submit a copy of the identity theft report to your local police department. 

Filing a police report will strengthen your case and help you get immediate assistance. You won't stress proving to credit issuers or creditors that you are a victim of identity theft. 

  1. Consider a Fraud Alert 

You need to stop any fraudulent activities using your credit card. An extra layer of protection will scare the fraudsters, and you need to notify the reputable credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  

A fraud alert will make it frustrating for the impostors to open accounts using your name. Financial institutions will take the necessary steps to authenticate your identity before giving you credit.

An initial fraud alert is valid for 90 days. You can renew for another 90 days and as much as you wish. You can opt for an extended fraud alert that will last seven years if you have an FTC verification as a victim of identity theft. 

If not content, you can opt for a credit freeze and notify lenders that your personal information has been breached. A security freeze will scare away fraudsters and make it hard for them to open credit accounts using your name. 

  1. Look at Your Credit Reports

It is imperative to monitor your credit reports regularly. You will easily notice any new fraudulent activities and take immediate action. 

Go through the credit card account on your reports and check the dates opened. Check your records to ensure they match up with when you opened your authentic accounts.

Clear any doubts you have by further requesting a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to get a free credit file from the three credit bureaus every year and an extra copy if you request a fraud alert. 

  1. Raise Claims with the Credit Bureaus

Once you notice any fraudulent accounts' information on your credit reports, dispute immediately with the three credit bureaus. It's the best action to take because most of these fraudsters will not make payments to your account. If you don't dispute fraudulent account information, it will hurt your financial reputation, credit score, or history. 

How Do You Know Someone Opened a Credit Card In Your Name

If you believe someone has opened a credit card using your credentials, remain calm and don't panic. Failure to take immediate action will give them time to mess around with your card.

Here are key indicators that someone opened a credit card using your credentials:

  • You will get a statement in your email for a credit card you didn't open. 
  • Further, you will come across an unauthorized account on your credit report. 
  • You will notice your credit card score has dropped due to missed payments. 
  • When you receive a call from collections or major credit reporting agencies, things will inflame. 
  • You may find missing funds in their bank accounts.
a woman holding credit card and mobile phone in her hands

How to Prevent Future Credit Card Fraud

Because you don't want to go through the challenges many identity theft victims have to endure, there are preventative credit card fraud measures to take. 

Here are steps to take and protect your credit card and financial or personal information from fraudsters:

  • Consider signing up for identity theft protection with the best credit monitoring services.
  • Store your personal information in a secure digital platform or wallet and ensure sensitive accounts are secure.
  • Always cross-check your credit card statements for fraudulent activity and unfamiliar charges.
  • Set up strong passwords and multi factor authentication on your accounts.
  • Sign up for account alerts to stay wary of any unexpected activities.
  • Shred credit card applications you get in your mailing address instead of throwing them in the recycle bin where hackers can access them. 
  • Keep antivirus software up-to-date to ensure no hackers can breach your accounts. 

Taking identity protective measures is a smart decision and the best way to be more vigilant to protect your financial information. 

padlock and credit card on a keyboard

FAQs

Can Someone Take Out a Loan In Your Name Without You Knowing?

Yes, someone can take a loan if they manage to steal your identity. The identity thief can go on and open bank accounts and take a loan. However, if you check your credit reports, you will notice someone has taken out a loan and be able to file a complaint immediately before they sink you into debt. 

Can Someone Make a Credit Card in Your Name?

Yes, some can make a credit card using your name if they have the right personal information. You will only realize it if credit card companies call you and demand payments into your account.

Can You Find Out Who Used Your Credit Card?

Yes, credit card agencies you consult can help you find who used your credit card. They will track down where this person last used your stolen credit card. These companies use the credit card authorization process to track this information. 

Can You Recover From Identity Theft?

Yes, you can recover from identity theft. It may take over six months to recover as the process will require involving the three major credit card bureaus. They will help request a fraud alert and review your credit reports to prove fraudulent activity in your accounts. 

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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