Fraud, Friends and Family

Discover how common fraud is among loved ones

Lisa is the victim of fraud. Credit card fraud claimed her life. Did the crime take place through Internet scams? Did a thief break into her home and steal her identity? Was her identity stolen through insurance fraud or consumer fraud? No. Lisa is the victim of fraud committed by her boyfriend of 4 years. How could this happen?

Credit card fraud

Lisa's problems began when her boyfriend began using her personal information and took out credit cards in her name - 8 to be exact. He maxed out all eight credit cards for a total of $15,000, made no payments, and left with another woman. Of course, the now ex-boyfriend claims he will pay Lisa back...

According to the Committee on Ways and Means, 50% of identity theft and fraud is committed by someone the victim knows. 33% percent of all fraud is credit card fraud. When a boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member steals your identity, many victims feel they can't report it as fraud. Wrong.

Identity theft is identity theft regardless of who the perpetrator is -- report it. Although recovering from identity theft is a time-consuming process and can be a struggle, you still need to take the steps to right things. And you definitely want to prove that you aren't responsible for the charges and clear your credit report.

In the event you find yourself in a similar situation, first place a fraud alert on your credit report. Next, file a police report. The third step is to call each credit card company and file a report with them. Explain that you are not responsible for the charges, which should be a snap considering the lack of a signature on the credit card applications. Then cancel each credit card.

Repairing your credit score, calling credit card companies, and filing reports is time consuming, but it's the only way to recover your identity and repair your credit. Always guard your personal information at all times to prevent fraud.

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