In the recent past, innumerable cases have surfaced where there have been incidences of fraudulent charges on credit cards or unauthorized access to personal information. In wake of such rising cases of identity theft and data breaches, it can be extremely useful to know about actions to take once you are a victim of banking fraud. You never know when you or your loved one may land themselves in such an unfortunate situation.
Steps You Must Take Immediately If You’re A Victim of Banking Fraud
#1 Contact Your Financial Institution – While there are several indicators of you becoming a victim of banking fraud, unusual or fraudulent transactions are usually the first red flag. At such times, the first thing to do is to contact your financial institution and let them know about the fraud and work out the best way to get out of the situation. Request them to block the problem account to prevent further transactions.
#2 Flag A Fraud Alert – It is important that you follow up with credit bureaus in order to prevent credit providers from granting any new credit, without your prior approval. You can simply request the credit-reporting bureau to flag a fraud-alert on your profile, as this would provide an intimation to credit providers. The fraud alert usually lasts for the initial 90 days after the account has been flagged, so that credit providers can go a step ahead to verify identity of the person, in case someone requests for credit under your personal details.
#3 Scan Bank & Credit Card Statements – Request the credit-reporting bureau and bank to provide you with current credit reports and bank statement. Carefully review these reports and statements to look for fraudulent charges or unusual transactions. It is also important to check through your infrequent or dormant accounts, for any incidence of identity theft where your personal details may have been leaked or hacked.
#4 File A Report With Local Police Department – Once you have reported the incidence to your financial institution, it is also important that you file a report with the local law enforcement. Keep a copy of the report with you for any further communication.
#5 Open A New Account – The best thing to do once your account has been hacked, is to close it and start a new account altogether, to prevent further damage. This holds true even for accounts that have not been compromised since, your personal details are going to remain the same and you never know when those accounts may get hacked. So, it’s always better to be precautious than repent later.
#6 Request Credit Freeze – You may also request your credit bureau to initiate a credit freeze. While this is not a mandatory step, it can definitely act as an added layer of protection. Such a request will allow the credit bureau to completely cut off access to your credit report, regardless of who requests it.
Thus, with little handy information and some presence of mind, you can easily surface out from such difficult situations. The best thing to do however, to mitigate the risks of such frauds, is to always be on alert whenever you are making a transaction and keep a track of people and platforms with whom you share your personal information.