Crime: Identity Theft Using Credit Card
It’s a typical weekend. You drove to your friend’s house, asked your
friend to hang out at the mall and buy something. You and your friends
then went to the bar to have a couple of drinks and talk about what
happened during the past week and you paid with your credit card. After a great night you both went home and slept.
The next morning, you checked for your mail and found your credit card billing statement.As you looked at it, you were shocked to see
that you are being charged on your credit card things that you never even bought. You called the bank about this and wondered how these happened.
If you have experienced this you have been a victim of a crime. This
crime is called identity theft or identity fraud. Identity theft is a
crime where someone obtained and used your personal data, such as your name, credit card number, address, social security number, without you knowing about it. Some people who obtained your personal information used it to commit crime, usually using it for financial fraud or deception.
Criminals commit identity theft by buying something using your
credit card information, obtaining money from your account, or getting a new credit card in your name. The criminal who commits identity theft usually make use of your personal information to buy goods or services in your name without you knowing it and end up you paying for the goods and services the criminal purchased.
You might wonder why these criminals get away with it. This is because,
in today’s society, many transactions usually occur without any actual contact with the buyer and the seller. Transactions like these are
often used in telephones and the internet where no one can identify the criminal. They can easily buy goods and services by just using your
credit card number online and giving a specified address where the goods should be delivered.
Unfortunately ,if you are a victim of this crime you would only find this out upon receiving your credit card billing statement. Identity thieves usually buy as much goods as possible in usually one to two days. They usually end up saturating your credit limit and even sometimes they would exceed.
In some cases they can transfer money from your bank account to
another, and sometimes, these thieves may actually pretend to be you. They will use your personal information to get money or apply for a large loan and worst of all, you will not know that someone is using your personal information until you get billing statements or visited by collectors.
Identity theft can cause you a bad credit history, making it difficult
for you to obtain new jobs or renting apartments. This is because
employers and landlords often take a look at credit records of new
If you think that you’re a victim of identity theft it is wise that you
should follow these steps to stop it or in some cases catch the thief:
• File a police report. Be sure to reproduce the police report. You can show these copies of the police report to the parties involved and any other creditors such as the bank and other entities which may require evidence of the crime.
• File a complaint in your postal service. This can help you locate where the goods were delivered and prevent the crime from happening again.
• File a complaint to credit bureaus. Filing a complaint to at least one of the major credit bureaus can result in getting free copies of your credit report. This will also require creditors to call or contact to confirm if you really are opening a new account or applying for a new credit card.
• Send a report of the crime to check verification companies. If you know that someone has been using stolen checks from your account, inform check verification companies about this so that they will not honor the fake or stolen checks issued by the criminal and is also a good way to catch the thief.
Identity theft is a very serious crime. If you ever suspect that you
are a victim of identity theft, it is wise that you should act
immediately by reporting the crime to all authorities concerned.
Identity theft can be very time consuming, expensive, and difficult to repair the damage done to your credit history. It can also get you in trouble with the law. It is very important that you be able to change your identity numbers that have been stolen from you as soon as you have discovered the crime.