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Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Spot Credit Fraud – Steps You Can Take

It’s National Consumer Protection Week, a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers to take steps to protect themselves from fraud and make better-informed decisions.

You can learn more about the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions’ consumer protection efforts by visiting our website at

With the recent Target security breach, many consumers have asked us what steps they can take to spot credit fraud. Below are three simple steps everyone should take to help protect their bank, credit, and personal information.

Spotting Credit Fraud – Steps You Can Take

1) Check Your Account Statements Frequently
Check your bank and credit card account statements frequently. Make sure that all charges look right and note any charges that appear fraudulent. If there is a charge on your account that you don’t recognize, notify your financial institution right away.

2) Review Your Credit Report
You are entitled to one free credit report a year via Review your credit report to make sure there is no unauthorized activity. If there is, notify the credit reporting agency right away.

3) Sign Up for Alert Services
Many financial institutions offer alert services these days that notify you of account activity such as large balance transfers and even when your password has been changed. Signing up for these free services is another way you can protect yourself.