Consumer Information: Avoiding Credit Card Hazards
The credit card companies are flooding us with card solicitations, deceiving us with misleading offer terms, and gouging us with higher fees than ever. As a result, consumers are sinking further and further into debt. What should you be on the lookout for? How can you avoid being ripped off?
Help is Here!
For tips and assistance in this matter, visit www.truthaboutcredit.org. This site provides information on credit card traps and terms you should know when dealing with credit agencies. It is brought to you by Ohio Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). To contact Ohio PIRG, call (614) 228-1447 or visit the Ohio PIRG Web site.
Stolen Credit Cards
Cancel your credit cards immediately.
Have toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know who to call. If your cards were stolen, file a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent. Most importantly call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. This alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
Take These Precautions
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each license, credit card, etc., so you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call to cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
Call these numbers if you think your credit cards have been stolen:
Equifax : 1-800-535-6285
Experian (formely TRW) : 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion : 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration (fraud line) : 1-800-269-0271