Showing posts with label New account fraud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New account fraud. Show all posts

College Tip 5- What’s in a credit report- Public Records

This is the fourth post in a series about how college kids can help protect themselves from ID Theft. Feel free to visit Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

The public records section of our credit report shows information such as bankruptcy filings, court records, tax liens and other monetary judgments. Most college kids shouldn't have much (if any) information on this section of the report, but it's important to make sure that there aren’t any inaccuracies here.

Posted by Mike

College Tip 4- What’s in a credit report- Credit Inquiries

This is the fourth post in a series about how college kids can help protect themselves from ID Theft. Feel free to visit Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Our credit inquiries section of our credit reports gives a chronological account of which companies have performed inquiries in the past 2 years. This particular page is important to college kids for 2 reasons:

1- It's important to understand that every time you sign up to possibly gain a credit card, the inquiry can have a negative impact on your credit score. At school, many credit card companies will offer promotional giveaways of all sorts, and trying to take advantage of as many as possible can be detrimental to your overall credit health.
2- New account fraud is most often caught here.

Posted by Mike

College Tip 3- What’s in a credit report- Account History

This is the third post in a series about how college kids can help protect themselves from ID Theft. Feel free to visit Part 1 and Part 2.

The account history that we provide as part of our credit reports take each of the account found in the credit summary, and breaks them down in-depth, showing the type of account, the remaining balance and additional history of an account. If you spotted a discrepancy on the previous page, this page will give you an opportunity to delve into where that may lie.

Posted by Mike

College Tip 2- What’s in a credit report- Credit Summary

This is the second post in a series about how college kids can help protect themselves from ID Theft. Part 1 can be found here.

The Credit Summary we provide gives an overview of what types of account are open under a person’s name. There are 5 pieces of information on this page:

• Real estate accounts (this is any payment a person is making in the form or a mortgage).
• Revolving accounts (this is a summary of how many credit cards a person has in their name).
• Installment Accounts (this is a summary of recurring payments a person has in their name, such as a car payment).
• Other accounts.
• A derogatory summary (this highlights anything that might be driving your credit score down).

Each of the first 4 categories has Count, Balance, Current and Closed as subcategories. This shows how many of each type of accounts a person has, what their outstanding balance might be, how many are still open, and how many have been closed.

The Derogatory Summary shows recent inquiries on a person's credit, any places that a person has been in collections, and current or prior delinquencies.

This page is a great snapshot of a person's overall lines of credit (both open and closed), and you can quickly look to confirm that information is accurate here.

Posted by Mike

College Tip 1- What's in a credit report- Personal Profile

In our last post discussing college data breaches and ID Theft, we said something like:

College kids might not know what to look for in their credit report

The first section of a credit report (and we'll be using the credit reports that PrivacyGuard puts together as a basis) is personal info.

The first section is your "Personal Profile." This contains a summary of the information that the credit bureaus have on you about your current address, date of birth, and employers.

For the Credit Bureaus to be accurate in determining your credit score, it is important that this information is correct.

Posted by Mike

And Summer Vacation Hasn't Even Ended Yet

In last week's Data Breach Roundup, we saw a couple of universities being breached. It isn't the first time, that there have been multiple schools breached, and if we had to guess, it won’t be the last.

One of the bigger concerns when it comes to breaches of students (and really, anyone who is young), is that thieves become able to cause long term, significant trouble for the demographic.

Usually, college is when a kid gets his/her first (and maybe second or third) credit card. However, we've found that most kids don't really understand the process of how they are approved, just that they think they have a few hundred extra dollars available.

Where it becomes tricky is when a thief takes advantage of this, and opens a concurrent line of credit. It's entirely possible the thief will actually take steps to build up the youngster's credit history, paying on time and generally doing everything a college kid should in order to build strong credit.

This can go on for years.

After a while though, and once a credit history is strong enough, thieves can make major purchases (like cars or even homes), flip their purchase for a significant dollar amount, and then simply walk away.

The "college kid" (who at this point is much older), would never even have an idea that the theft has taken place until

1- Years later
2- A collection agency calls asking them about a mortgage.

So, now more than ever, college kids needs to protect themselves. Over the coming month, we'll be providing regular tips on how they can do so, as we get ready for back-to-school season.

Posted by Mike

New Account Fraud

Credit.com covered a survey that had some scary findings: namely that roughly one of out 5 Americans has been a victim of ID theft, and that credit card fraud only comprises about 20% of ID Thefts.

We obviously can't speak to the accuracy of those numbers, but they do seem to go along with what Javelin Research and Strategy has pointed out this year; other types of fraud, specifically new account fraud, are on the rise.

So: What is new account fraud and why, as Javelin points out, is it so hard to detect?

New account fraud happens when a thief opens up a new line of credit in someone else's name. Usually, any correspondence between the credit issuer and the "account holder" goes to a different destination than the actual victim. In other words… the victim doesn't know that they aren't receiving a statement from a bank, because the victim doesn't know there's a relationship with the bank.

One way to prevent this type of fraud from becoming damaging is to regularly check your credit report. It will show you each query performed on your personal credit (after all, in order to open a line of credit, these queries must be performed).

If you see a query that you aren't aware of, that can be a clue that someone might have your personal information. (and if you're a PrivacyGuard member, this means it's time to call us to make sure everything is as it should be).

Posted by Darragh